A number of mummified animals have been found in Egypt, such as cats, crocodiles, birds and lions, but perhaps the most unusual are frogs and toads. However, despite their strangeness, these animals had symbolism for the ancient Egyptians associated with the afterlife.
For those in a hurry:
- The shapes of frogs in ancient Egypt were associated with two gods: the goddess Heket of fertility and the god Ptah of the craftsmen.
- For this reason, these animals were used as living amulets to attract fertility;
- However, the discovery of mummified frogs suggests that they were also used as amulets in the afterlife, in order to attract rebirth, renewal and protection.
Frogs in ancient Egypt
In ancient Egypt, the character of frogs had two related deities. One of them is Heqet, a frog-headed goddess associated with fertility. Egyptologists believe that this connection is related to the flooding of rivers and the subsequent arrival of amphibians. Thus, agricultural productivity, which was largely dependent on rivers in ancient times, was attributed to frogs.
Another god associated with frogs in ancient Egypt was Ptah. His transformation from god of craftsmen to conqueror of the underworld, as god of creation, is believed to be inspired by the life cycle of these animals, known for their metamorphosis.
Because of the representations and associations with deities, live frogs were used as amulets to attract fertility. However, the discovery of mummified frogs suggests that they were also considered amulets in the afterlife.
Mummified frogs have been found in Theban tombs, and researchers believe they were buried with the dead as magical amulets for resurrection, renewal, and protection.
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