Animals in Ancient Egypt

Living among humans, these animals became part of the Ancient Egyptian culture for religious and survival reasons.

Cats

They were used to fend off rats and snakes from food. In paintings, they are shown under their owner’s chairs or sitting on their laps. They also represented the goddess Bastet. In later history the mummies of cats were used as offerings to the gods.

Crocodiles

This animal was a real danger to the Ancient people as they killed in the Nile river. As with other dangerous animals, Egyptians gave the crocodile divine status. The god associated was Sobek. This was done in order to ward off attacks on humans.

Jackals

Often seen in the deserts close to civilizations and found scavenging food from humans, this animals was often seen. The fact that they were often found in cemeteries resulted in being associated with death. The God Anubis is worshiped as the guardian of cemeteries and the god who presides over the embalming of the dead.

 

 

 

 

Scarab Beetle

The Egyptians imagined this beetle rolling the ball of the sun across the sky as it does with animal dung–it rolls it into a ball. Being associated with the sun resulted in a connection with the Sun God Ra. The image of the beetle can be found on amulets made to protect the wearer against evil.

 

 

 

 

 

Credit for information and images: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/egyptians/animal_gallery_01.shtml

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