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ARCHAEOLOGY > Cat, children mummies draw interest to museum

AKSARAY - Anatolian News Agency

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Four children mummies are being displayed in a special section in the museum. AA photo

Four children mummies are being displayed in a special section in the museum. AA photo

The mummies of cats and children that were unearthed during illegal excavations at the Çanlı Church in Aksaray’s Manastırlar Hill are drawing visitors to a museum in the Central Anatolian province.

“The mummies of a cat and four children are being displayed in a special section of the [Aksaray] Museum,” Anatolia news agency quoted Yusuf Altun, an art historian and the director of the museum, as saying yesterday.

Altun said Aksaray and its environs were as rich as Egypt in terms of mummies and added that the untouched remains found in the region showed that a civilization that was advanced in the techniques required to perform mummifications had lived in the region.

Mummies that have been unearthed in the region, including ones discovered during illegal excavations, are now on display at museums in Aksaray and Niğde, the museum director said, adding that most of the remains had been removed from Çanlı Church, which is about 20 to 25 kilometers away from the provincial center.

“The reason why there are many mummies in the region is that this place was a significant religious center,” said Altun. “People used to come here for redemption. Mummification was common in Çanlı Church and its surrounding. We think that these children were the children of notable persons from that period.”

June/19/2012

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