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From domesticated cats to mythic symbols of divinity, felines played an important role in ancient Egyptian imagery for thousands of years. Divine Felines: Cats of Ancient Egypt explores the role of cats, lions, and other feline creatures in Egyptian mythology, kingship, and everyday life through nearly eighty different representations of cats from the Brooklyn Museum’s world-famous Egyptian collection. Likely first domesticated in ancient Egypt, cats were revered for their fertility and motherly care. Cats were essential for their ability to protect homes and granaries from vermin. The protective and dangerous qualities of larger felines symbolized royalty and a number of gods.
Also included are images of feline deities, amulets, and luxury items decorated with feline features. A small section of the exhibition also looks at the role of dogs and jackals in ancient Egypt.