Animal mummification originated in Egypt. They mummified various animals. It was an enormous part of Egyptian culture, not only in their role as food and pets, but also for religious reasons. They were typically mummified for four main purposes — to allow beloved pets to go on to the afterlife, to provide food in the afterlife, to act as offerings to a particular god, and because some were seen as physical manifestations of specific gods that the Egyptians worshipped. Bast, the cat goddess is an example of one such deity.In 1888, an Egyptian farmer digging in the sand near Istabl Antar discovered a mass grave of felines, ancient cats that were mummified and buried in pits at great numbers.