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Ancient Egypt Animals

Many paintings from ancient Egypt show drawings of animals which during those times were reared mainly for food. Some were also kept as pets. Some old Egyptian animals that were seen during those times are no longer seen due to changes in the climate that have taken over the last thousands of years. Egyptians are known to have understood the characteristics of animals and even admired them, especially animals that could outpower humans. Mummification in Egypt was done of not just humans but animals as well. Most animals in Egypt were considered to symbolize a meaning or were sometimes associated with a particular god.

Ancient Egypt Animals

Some Animals From Ancient Egypt And What They Represented

Ancient Egypt Animals

  • Jackals in ancient Egypt were used as a symbol of judgment after death. This was when Anubis, the jackal head god, judged a good heart from a bad one.
  • Due to its art of burying itself, the beetle was considered a symbol of survival.
  • The cat’s way of hunting its prey made it a symbol of grace and poise. Cats were favorite pets and also symbolized the cat gods like Bast.
  • The scarab beetle was sacred to the Egyptians and worn on almost all amulets. This animal was linked with the Egyptian god Khepri. The scarab beetle also symbolizes rebirth after death.
  • Crocodiles were feared for their incredible power and danger. They also represented the god Sobek, who was feared and respected because of his extraordinary powers.
  • Hippos were feared due to their power but were also considered symbols of rebirth. The hippo is represented by the goddess Tauret (Taweret), who protects women in childbirth.

Common Farming Animals In Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt Animals

Animals were important to farmers in Egypt. Animals assisted them with everyday tasks on the field, like trampling in the seeds, pulling the plow, eating unwanted grain or wheat, and providing the Egyptians with food and drink. The animals kept by farmers included cattle, goats, pigs, ducks, cows, and geese.

Dogs in Ancient Egypt:

As far back as in Ancient Egypt, dogs were deemed 'Man's best friend.' Not only were they kept as family pets, but they were also employed for hunting and to keep watch. These canines were pampered, given titles such as 'Blackey' or 'Brave One,' and adored with intricate leather collars. This pup mummy, believed to be a royal pet, was unearthed in a royal tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

Other Animals In Ancient Egypt

Egyptians believed a balanced relationship between humans and animals was necessary to maintain the cosmic order. Animals, both as pets and wild animals, were thus crucial to Egyptian civilization. Cattle were the most essential livestock during those days. Other animals kept included sheep, pigs, and goats. Poultry such as ducks, geese, and pigeons were captured in nets and bred on farms, where they were force-fed with dough to make them healthy. The Nile River acted as a good source of plentiful fish. Bees were also domesticated, at least during the Old Kingdom, and provided both honey and wax.
Donkeys and oxen were also used for carrying burdens. Dogs, cats, and monkeys were common pets, but royal families kept exotic pets like lions. Egyptian civilization is believed to be the only ancient civilization with domesticated house pets. During later eras, many animals were worshipped as gods incarnated in the animal form; popular ones included Ibis, Anubis, and Bast.

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