*…A nearly 2,000-year-old pet cemetery holding the remains of dogs, monkeys and scores of cats has been uncovered in an ancient Egyptian town, archaeologists say.
A few animals still wore iron collars when they were laid to rest, and the graves of two young cats include ostrich-shell beads. Some of the beasts’ bodies were nestled under mats or pottery jars, signaling they were deliberately buried rather than just discarded as trash, researchers argue.
The careful treatment of the animals’ bodies suggests an “emotional (relationship) between men and pets as we know it today,” says Marta Osypińska of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the author of a new study in the journal Antiquity.*
The Romans loved their pets, especially their dogs, and one grave at Berenike holds a young dog probably imported from either Rome or Greece.
A heavily built animal similar to a mastiff, its belly held a final meal of fish and goat meat, and its skeleton shows it suffered from a painful bone cancer still common among dogs today. Its body had been wrapped in a basket and covered with pieces of broken pottery, clear evidence it was “a very loved animal,” says the University of Delaware’s Steven Sidebotham, who directs research at Berenike…*
I love it that some things–like the love of a beloved pet–never change, no matter the century.
I wonder what the common “Rover” dog-name was back then.