The “House of the Apis bull” is a unique building that was once located inside the Great Ptah Temple. Egyptologists think that it was part of an impressive complex made up of the stalls, temple and embalming house of the famous Apis bull.
The Apis bull was a sacred animal that was thought to contain the spirit of the God Ptah. It was worshipped and used to tell the future. On its death, it was mummified, celebrated, buried, then replaced with another look-alike.
Today at the Apis House you can see five enormous stone tables. These may have been used during the mummification process. They are made of Egyptian alabaster and the largest is over 5 meters (17 feet) long. That’s the length of 3 adults lying end to end! Look out for the two lions, which represent the legs of the table. They are perfectly preserved.
We know a lot about the Apis bulls from ancient writings. For example, once mummified, the dead bull would be carried 5km from Memphis to Saqqara. This funeral procession was probably led by the Pharaoh and his priests and watched by crowds of people. It concluded with the burial of the Apis bull in the Serapeum (a network of huge tombs open for visitors today).