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Study: Grave of 8 million mummified dogs unearthed in Egypt

The mummified dogs were discovered in a 173 x 140 meters catacomb near the Temple of the Anubis

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Nearly eight million mummified dogs dating back to ancient Egypt were fully unearthed by archeologists from a mass grave in Saqqara, a new study has found.

The study reported by the Discovery News website on Friday said the mummified dogs were discovered in a 173 x 140 meters catacomb near the Temple of the Anubis, a dog-like god of death in Egyptian mythology.

Researchers said the finding suggests that ancient Egyptians may have had animal gods and worshipers of Anubis likely displayed the mummies as an expression of gratitude.

The discovery of the grave took place in the 19th century in Saqqara, a massive ancient burial ground in Egypt that lies near the Giza Pyramids.

But the dog remains were fully unearthed and counted recently, according to the report.

The study’s lead researcher, Paul Nicholson, a professor of archaeology at Cardiff University in the United Kingdom, told Live Science: “It would have been a busy place. A permanent community of people living there supported by the animal cults.”

The catacomb’s ceiling also contained “the fossil of an ancient sea monster, a marine vertebrate that’s more than 48 million years old,” the website said.

It is unclear if ancient Egyptians knew about the existence of the fossil when they built the tomb for the doglike mummies, it added.

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