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The Mammals of Ancient Egypt (Paperback)

Ancient History > Ancient Egypt & Egyptology

Imprint: Oxbow Books
Series: Oxbow Classics in Egyptology
Pages: 228
ISBN: 9798888570777
Published: 15th April 2024
Casemate UK Academic



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Various attempts have been made to systematize the mammals depicted in Egyptian tomb paintings, inscriptions, carvings, figurines and other objects, and as mummies, but there are many discrepancies, variable spellings and names, including now obsolete Latin names, and mis-identifications. The Egyptian artists themselves sometimes used the wrong hieroglyph or drew some parts of animals incorrectly. Dale Osborn’s comprehensive reassessment, presented here in a facsimile reissue, catalogues around 100 separate species, ranging from hedgehogs to hippopotami, Anubis Baboons to Zebu cattle, that can be identified in Egyptian art from prehistoric, through Pre-Dynastic to Late Kingdom times. Profusely illustrated, the catalogue is arranged by Order, then species, each entry providing the relevant hieroglyph, a brief description of the animal, its natural habitat and distribution, and a narrative on its depiction in Egyptian art through time, by location, types of illustration or object, and context (tomb etc). Known errors and discrepancies, either in original scripts or classical and/or modern literature, are listed.Mammals are abundantly depicted in tomb paintings and inscriptions. Common scenes include hunts, processions, wild animals being led on chains, domesticated animals in household and working environments, and satirical scenes. Such scenes provide many insights into the lives of Egyptians and their relationships with animals, that are further enhanced by many decorative figurines and statues and, often poignantly, by the mummies of mostly small animals including cats and dogs.

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