Saqqara Lion
Animal Mummy
Biographical Information
Clas Unknown
Species Panthera leo
Age 6-10 months
Length 3 feet
Culture Unknown
Site Bubasteion Necropolis, Saqqara
Current Location
Catalog # Unknown
Two mummified lions, dating to about 2,600 years ago, have been discovered in a tomb full of cat statues and cat mummies in the Bubasteion necropolis, Saqqara. It is the first time a complete mummy of a lion or lion cub has been found in Egypt. Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities said the find was excavated in Saqqara necropolis. The remains of a number of cats were found at the site, some of which were large.


The lions are fairly small, about 3 feet (just under 1 meter) in length, suggesting that they were not fully grown when they died, they are believed to have been eight months old, and date to Egypt’s 26th Dynasty (664-525 B.C.)


The lion was associated with the sun and the pharaoh. The lions are likely connected to the cat goddess Bastet and her sibling Sekhmet, the warrior goddess with the face of a lioness.

About 100 statues and statuettes were found near the burials, many of which depict cats.

In 2004 a dig found the partial remains of a lion skeleton at Saqqara.

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