Cat, baby and adult mummies from the 10th, 11th and 12th centuries were found in Aksaray. 13 mummies found in excavations in Aksaray and its surroundings are exhibited in the museum.
The cat, baby and adult mummies in Aksaray, which is the gateway to Cappadocia with its historical cultural riches and known as the first settlement of Central Anatolia and Cappadocia, surprise everyone.
A total of 13 mummies, consisting of cats, babies and adult humans, are exhibited at the Aksaray Museum, which has Turkey’s first and only mummy section. The mummies unearthed during the excavations in the Aksaray region are preserved in showcases with special heating and cooling systems.
Aksaray Museum Director Yusuf Altın, who gave information about the mummies, stated that there are 13 mummies in total and said, “With 13 mummies in our Aksaray Museum, we are the only museum in Turkey with a mummy section. There is also one mummy in Amasya and Niğde Museums, but our museum with the only section exhibited in this way is the Aksaray Museum in our country.”
THEY HAVE BEEN IN CHURCHES
“The mummies in our museum were found as a result of the rescue excavations in the churches in the Ihlara Valley. Another part of our mummies was found in Çanlı Church from churches built about a thousand years ago. These have been brought to our museum through museum salvage excavations since the 2000s.”
BODY’S ORGANS ARE DISCHARGED AND COVERED WITH WAX
Noting that the mummification technique in Turkey is different from that of Egypt, Yusuf Altın said, “Of these mummies, the baby mummy brings a very technical work in itself. Because our mummification technique is different from the Egyptian mummification technique.”
“In this technique, after the person dies, the internal organs of the corpse are removed, the wax is melted and the corpse is covered like a layer of glaze. Then it is covered with a shroud and cloth. In this way, it is buried in the ground, and after the corpse dries, it preserves itself for centuries. We bring our mummies from these excavations to our museum and exhibit them. In particular, we exhibit the necklaces, booties and shroud embroideries on them.”
THERE IS A CAT MUMMY
Museum Director Yusuf Altın stated that a cat loved by its owner was preserved by mummification with the mummification technique.
Stating that the cat mummy also attracts great attention from children, Altın said, “We have another mummy, the cat mummy, which especially attracts the attention of our children. In our cat mummy, it was covered with wax and preserved, probably because it was so loved by its owner. After we detect it, we exhibit it in our museum. Our mummies are all from the 10th, 11th and 12th centuries. In other words, mummies that are about a thousand years old,” he said.