Ancient Egyptian animal mummies revealed
Scientists have revealed that most of the 800 ancient Egyptian animal mummies they scanned do not contain full skeletons - in fact, many contain no animal remains at all.
Thanks to technological advances, researchers now know that two thirds of the mummies contain little evidence an animal was once present.
X-ray and CT scans show that a third contain partial remains as little as a single bone. While another third are stuffed with organic material such as sticks or items symbolic of animals such as feathers or eggs shells.
Researchers believe that the ancient mummies, which include birds, cats and crocodiles, were mostly used as a popular religious tool to send up prayers to the gods.
It's believed that demand for the mummified animals outstripped supply, despite massive animal breeding programmes.
At least 70 million animals are believed to have been mummified between 800BC and Roman times.
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