Any idea as to type of dog?
We don't actually have genetic information on these two dog mummies but because of their size they are likely desert dogs of some kind. Like most images of dogs in ancient Egypt, they were likely associated with the god Anubis or Wepwawet
No X-ray either? Perhaps they were puppies.
No, none on view unfortunately. They did do C-14 dating on the linen wrapping but the animal remains may have been too fragile or deteriorated to take a sample.
Yes, puppies are most definitely an option as well. We have evidence of ancient Egyptians mummifying kittens, juvenile crocodiles, and young ibises as well.
Thanks for your feedback.
Tell me more about the beautiful art of wrapping. So detailed and patterned. Lovely!
Often the type of wrapping was partially dictated by the animal underneath, helping to mimmic the shape when bundled. At other times, elaborate wrappings compensated for the mummy inside, which may not have been the whole or desired animal. We have a wrapping that looks like a bull where this is very clearly the case. Wrapping styles also varied based on time period.
The mummy you're looking at, meanwhile, is wrapped in a style associated with the Roman Period from 30 B.C.E–395 C.E.
The various patterns of the linen, diamond or coffered boxes is very striking indicating great attention to detail and artistic vision.
Yes, it is incredible to think of the care that went into these objects that would be seen by so few.
I also find it fascinating that the architectural pattern of coffering was transferred to mummies. It is just one example of the melding of Egyptian and Roman aesthetics.
Why did they mummify animals?
The Egyptians believed that animals had souls and, if they were properly mummified, could carry messages to the gods.
So if you wanted to send a message to the god Anubis, you would go to a temple that specialized in mummifying dogs and would buy a dog mummy from a priest. The priest would recite spells and place the mummy in a special dog cemetery.
One dog cemetery had over 7 million mummies in it! Apparently, ancient Egyptians had a lot to say to Anubis! Some were asking for help with health, work, etc. Very similar to prayers today.