An Ice Age Wolf and Mummified Cats

Egyptian Bastet Cat

 

Amazing discoveries have been made in the past couple of months in opposite parts of the world that enforce our connection to our beloved dogs and cats. 

 

An Ice Age wolf puppy has been discovered by gold miners in the Klondike area of Canada. If that name rings a bell, it’s because it was a famous site in the Yukon during the gold rush era from 1896-99. 

 

The pup was found in 2016 by some local gold miners from the Dawson mining community. It was lying exposed in the increasingly melting permafrost of the Arctic, close to another specimen, this time a caribou. 

 

This year marked the unveiling of this fascinating discovery and it’s a rarity. This specimen of an Ice Age wolf pup is perfectly preserved, with fur, skin and muscle intact. It is believed to be older than 50,000 years, according to radiocarbon dating.

 

The discovery of this ancient wolf has scientists all over the world excited. The mummified animal will be sent to Des Moines University first for further examination, where carnivore morphologist Julie Meachen will test it for DNA and gut bacteria. This will tell us the family history of the wolf and how it’s linked to our wolves of today. The health, diet, age, gender and cause of death will also be determined.

 

Meanwhile, in warmer climes across the desert to Egypt, where dozens of mummified cats have been found buried inside one of the great tombs from the Fifth Dynasty. Archeologists have been working on this site since April and this discovery is the largest so far. 

 

Cats were revered in ancient Egypt and were often buried alongside the great rulers to accompany them into the afterlife. Not only were they mummified to please the gods, they were also represented in mythology and art like statues and sculptures. 

 

In the same tombs with the cats, the archaeologists found 100 statues of cats wrought in gold and bronze and sculpted in the image of the Egyptian cat goddess Bastet. Significant findings and proof that cats have been charming humans for more than 6,000 years.

 

by Natalie Secretan

 

Photo by Bruce Thomson - Egyptian cat de Bastet