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Burying Man's Best Friend: Canine Catacombs in Ancient Egypt
Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 7:30pm
Burying Man's Best Friend: Canine Catacombs in Ancient Egypt

Wednesday, April 2, 7:30 p.m.
Smith Memorial Student Union 338
1825 SW Broadway

Free & open to the public


Ancient Egypt has a long history of animal mummification and burial, both ritual and pet.  Among the many animals buried in Egypt, dogs are amongst the most commonly found. In the cases of ritual (votive) deposits, the dogs are buried in groups together--separate from human remains--while a handful of pet burials indicate that dogs were buried near their owners.

Dr Salima Ikram, one of the world’s leading experts on mummification, will describe this little-known area of Egyptology, focusing on the different types of burials of man’s best friend. 

Among those is the discovery of millions of dog and other animal mummies dedicated to the god Anubis at the Catacombs of Anubis, at Saqqara. Often depicted as a jackal, Anubis was the god of embalming and led the deceased from this world to the next.  He was a significant figure in the Egyptian pantheon.  Other recent finds in the Fayum and Bahariya Oases are a hitherto unknown type of deposit, containing both dog and human remains. This joint burial challenges our understanding of the meaning and nature of these assemblages.


American University in Cairo Egyptologist, Dr Salima Ikram directed the Animal Mummy Project at the Egyptian Museum, co-directed the Predynastic Gallery project, and is Director of the North Kharga Oasis Survey. Her research interests include death, daily life, archaeozoology, ethnoarchaeology, rock art, experimental archaeology, and the preservation and presentation of cultural heritage. She has excavated in Egypt, the Sudan, Greece and Turkey, lectured throughout the world and appears frequently on TV.  She received a double major in History and in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology at Bryn Mawr College; she holds a M. Phil. and a Ph. D in Egyptian Archaeology from Cambridge. She has written several books (for adults and children) and articles, on subjects ranging from mummification to the eating habits of the ancient Egyptians.


The Oregon Chapter of the American Research Center in Egypt is a private, nonprofit organization that supports research on all aspects of Egyptian history and culture, fosters broader knowledge among the general public, and strengthens American-Egyptian cultural ties.

The Middle East Studies Center at Portland State University promotes understanding of the people, cultures, languages and religions of the Middle East. As a National Resource Center for Middle East Studies under the U.S. Department of Education's Title VI program, the Center serves as a resource on issues pertaining to the Middle East through activities that reach students and scholars, as well as businesses, educators, and the media. The Middle East Studies Center supports academic conferences, workshops, cultural events, lectures, and a resource library. | | 503-725-4074