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Mummified remains of big cat discovered in ancient Egyptian necropolis, says ministry

Local archaeologists have unearthed what could be extremely rare mummified remains of a lion or lioness, Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities announced Monday.

The find comes as part of an excavation in Saqqara, a town south of Cairo, which served as a vast burial ground for ancient Egypt and is home to the famed Step Pyramid.

While it’s not uncommon to find mummified remains of cats within the Egyptian necropolis — ancient Egyptians were known for their worship of the feline — but to find one this large is unusual.

In 2004, the first lion skeleton had been discovered, according to the Associated Press.

“It is a very strange animal, like a big cat,” Dr. Khaled El-Enany told Express U.K. “Maybe it will be a lion or a lioness, but we are studying it now and will announce the find in a few weeks.”

He added that more information will be revealed later this month, after the team has run CT scans and DNA tests to study the animal’s remains. o

The find follows a series of one-of-a-kind discoveries made at the site in the past year. Last December, archaeologists discovered the tomb of a high priest, untouched for over 4,400 years.

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