Joan of Arc 'Relics' Confirmed to Be Fake : Discovery News
The thing that struck me about this is that, like holy relics in some branches of Christianity, there was a vigorous trade in sometimes fake religious items in ancient Egypt as well. In the Late Period especially, animal cults associated with various deities gained immense popularity. One of the primary activities of pilgrims to the various shrines was purchase of a mummified animal suitable to the particular cult as a votive offering. In some places its seems that animals were bred and raised specifically for this purpose. Often the temple could not keep up with the demand and the mummified animal often was simply empty wrappings in the appropriate shape (especially with fairly lightweight animals like birds) or sticks, rocks, and whatever else would fill out the wrappings and have sufficient heft.
You can see an example here.
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