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Bronze figure of a seated cat
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This is a particularly fine example of the many statues of cats found from Egypt. It has gold rings in its ears and nose, a silvered collar round its neck and a silver protective wedjat eye amulet.

In Egypt the cat was mostly identified with the goddess Bastet, whose cult centre was at Bubastis in the Nile Delta. Bubastis grew in importance when its rulers became the kings of Egypt, forming the XXII Dynasty, sometimes known as the “Libyan Dynasty”. The increasing influence of bastet and the cult of the cat can probably be dated to this period. In the Late Period (661-332 BC) mummified cats were often buried as a sign od devotion to the goddess in special cemeteries, a number of which have been discovered in Egypt.

This sculpture is known as the Gayer-Anderson cat, after its donor to the British Museum.

Bronze figure of a seated cat

From Saqqara, Egypt, Late Period, after 600 BC.
Ht 42 cm.
Gift of Major Robert Grenville Gayer-Anderson.

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