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Fırat Üniversitesi Sağlık Bilimleri Veteriner Dergisi
2021, Cilt 35, Sayı 3, Sayfa(lar) 196-204
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Animal Mummies in Terms of History of Veterinary Medicine
Seda ÇAVUŞ ALAN, Abdullah ÖZEN
Fırat Üniversitesi, Veteriner Fakültesi, Veteriner Hekimliği Tarihi ve Deontoloji Anabilim Dalı, Elazığ, TÜRKİYE
Keywords: Ancient egypt, animal mummy, mummies, veterinary medicine

Believing in the presence of a second life after death, the Egyptians thought that they need their bodies in order to exist in that life. For this reason, they mummified the bodies of the deceased using a number of chemicals to protect them from external influences and prevent them from deteriorating. They applied the same process to the animals they wanted to be with in the next life.

Animal mummies are divided into four different categories according to their mummification purposes. These are sacred animal mummies, which were thought to be the representative of the god in the world, pet mummies, mummified with the requests of their owners to continue their existence after death, animal mummies as food for consumption of the deceased and animal mummies dedicated to gods as votive offerings to act as intermediaries between humans and gods.

In the examinations made on mummies, findings related to parasitic diseases were found more frequently in animal mummies compared to bacterial disease findings. Most of these diseases are zoonotic diseases. In addition, the excess of surgical interventions on mummified animals is striking. When these therapeutic interventions applied to animals were examined, it was interpreted that the people who carried out the intervention were experts in the field of veterinary medicine.

Animal mummies held in museum collections around the world and information about mummies (how they were obtained, geographical origins, dates, photographs) are available through the Ancient Egyptian Animal Bio Bank, an online database.

The fact that the mummification method applied to humans in ancient Egypt was applied to animals in a similar way indicates the existence of a strong bond and close relationship between humans and animals, nourished by religious beliefs. The fact that mummification techniques differ among animals can be interpreted as attitudes and behaviors towards animals differ according to the value attributed to them. In addition, it can be concluded that taking care of the needs and diseases of animals, which have an important place in human life, contributes positively to the development of the veterinary profession.

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