2015/10/21

Ancient Egyptian Animals

Perhaps, one of the few ancient communities who regarded animals as sacred was the Egyptian community. It is interesting to study about the animals of Ancient Egypt.

Cats were worshipped by the people. Bastet was the cat goddess. Cat mummies are found out in large numbers. Cats were popular companions of the people. A bull represented power, aggression and masculinity. A cow's quiet demeanour suggested a gentle aspect of feminine beauty. Her gift of milk was considered important. 

Ancient Egyptian Animals
Ancient Egyptian Animals


The lion was connected with the rising and the setting of the sun, and so were thought to be guardians of the horizon and were linked to solar deities. In Ancient Egypt, the fish had both sacred and scorned species. Some were sacred in some places and not allowed to be eaten, whereas in other places, anyone could eat the fish. Some of the fish in Egypt included the carp, perch and catfish.

Baboon was the dog-headed god .Cobra was considered sacred and Buta was the cobra goddess. Crocodile was one of the fearful creatures, who, it was believed would eat up the evil doers. The frog goddess Heqet was often shown as a frog-headed woman or as a frog. Anubis was the jackal-headed god. The Ancient Egyptians domesticated different types of animals - sheep, cattle, goats, pigs, geese and later horses.

Cattle were thought to be sacred and beef was often used for offerings to the gods or goddesses. Although cattle were raised, beef was a luxury item because much of the meat of the cattle was used for religious ceremonies and offerings.  Sheep and goats were considered by the Egyptians to be 'small cattle', and they were kept for their meat, milk, wool and hide. Donkeys were used for transportation of goods.

 Animals were one of the most important things about farming. Animals helped ancient Egyptians with jobs like trampling in the seeds, pulling the plough, eating unwanted grain or wheat and providing them with food and drink. But having these animals may have caused misfortune like if a donkey nibbled on someone else's crops the farmer could threaten to take its owner to court.

Also if animals were sick the Egyptians had to do all the work that they did. If animals were not marked they may have been stolen. Some of the farm animals were goats, pigs, ducks, cows, and geese. Each of the Egyptians towns had their own sacred animal. The ancient Egyptians had numerous different types of pets - monkeys, ducks, geese, pigeons, hoopoes, falcons, cats, dogs and even ferrets.

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