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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 ancient Egyptian animals which were seen during those times are no longer seen due to changes in the climate which has taken over last thousands of years. Egyptians are known to have understood the characteristics of animals and even admired them,  especially animals which 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 associated with a particular god in some cases.


Ancient Egypt Animals


Some Animals From Ancient Egypt And What They Represented

Ancient Egypt Animals


  • Jackals in ancient Egypt were used as a symbol for 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 as 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 very sacred to the Egyptians and was worn on almost all amulets. This animal was linked with the Egyptian god Khepri. The scarab beetle also symbolized rebirth after death.
  • Crocodiles were feared for their great power and danger. They also represented the god Sobek, who was both feared and respected because of his great 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 many 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.


Other Animals In Ancient Egypt


Egyptians believed that a balanced relationship between humans and animals was necessary to maintain the cosmic order. Animals both as pets and as wild animals were thus important to Egyptian civilization. Cattle seem to be the most important 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 a 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 exotic pets like lions were also kept by royal families. It’s believed that Egyptian civilization was the only ancient civilization that had domesticated house pets. During later eras many animals were worshipped as gods which incarnated in the animal form, popular ones included Ibis, Anubis, Bast, and others.

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