The site, located in the early Roman port of Berenice, was found 10 years ago, but its purpose was mysterious. Now, a detailed excavation has unearthed the burials of nearly 600 cats and dogs, along with the strongest evidence yet that these animals were treasured pets. That would make the site the oldest known pet cemetery, the authors argue, suggesting the modern concept of pets wasn’t alien to the ancient world. The cats and dogs lie as if asleep, in individual graves. Many wore collars or other adornments, and they had been cared for through injury and old age, like today’s pets. The team found no evidence of mummification, sacrifice, or other ritual practices seen at ancient animal burial places such as the Ashkelon site in Israel.
SOURCE: SCIENCE MAG