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An

Egyptian
Bestiary
Dorothea
Arnold

THE METROPOLITAN
MUSEUMOF ART

The Metropolitan Museum of Art


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4w-6

The

In

Egyptian Desert

themostfamousliterarywork forpOtS. Mostimportantly,


in ancient
of ancientEgypt,Sinuhe,a
timestheEgyptian
desertwasteeming
nobleman,fearingthewrathof
withwildlife.
a newpharaoh,fleesEgyptand
Duringtheprehistoric
periodand
crossestheeasterndesertintoAsia.
theOld Kingdom,theareasborderYearslater,asan oldman,he returns ingtheNilevalleyon theeastand
anddescribes
hisperilousjourneys:
westwerestepperatherthanbarren
"Anattackof thirstovertookme,"
wasteland,
supporting
patchesof grass,
he writesaboutadventures
duringhis
shrubs,andevenoccasional
trees.
desertcrossing."Iwasparched,my
Minorwatercourses
andsporadic
rains
throatburned.I said,'Thisis thetaste nourished
theplants,andthevegetaof death."'
To theancientEgyptians
tionin turnsustained
a richvarietyof
thevastaridlandsflankingtheirferanimals.Forhumanslivingin the
tilevalleycouldindeedcarrythethreat Nilevalley,wildsteppegameconstiof death.If theyventuredbeyondthe
tutedan importantsourceof foodin
valleymargins,theymightsufferas
theseearlytimesandservedasofferdidSinuhe,fallvictimto predators,
ingsto thegodsthroughallperiodsof
or encounterstrangeandforeign
Egyptianhistory.Huntingsteppeanipeople.It musthaveseemedfitting
malsin thewideopenlandsgave
thatthedesertwasa "landof death,"
kingsandnoblesampleopportunities
wheretheEgyptians
buriedtheirdead. to provetheirvalorandfeelthemHowever,
thedesertwasalsothe
selvesto be mastersof theuniverse.
bountifulrealmthatprovidedstone
In Egyptianreligionthe existenceof
forEgypt'smagnificent
buildingsand
abundant
animallifein the"landof
statuary,
goldandsemiprecious
gems
death"becamea potentsymbolof life
forjewelry,metalsandmineralsfor
afterdeath.Innumerable
representaluxurygoodsandweapons,andclay
tionsof desertandsteppeanimalsin

tombsandroyalfunerary
monuments,
aswellastheuseof suchanimalsas
amuleticobjects,areevidenceof this.
Duringthewholepharaonic
period,
wildherdanimalssuchasantelope
andibexandpredators
suchaslions
andleopardsroamedthesteppewhile
it turnedgradually
intodesert.Many
othercreatures-fromtinyjerboas,
whoselonghindlegsenabledthem
to performacrobatic
leaps,to hedgehogsandwildcats-madetheirhomes
in thehillystepperegion.Therewere
stillelephants
andgiraffesin thisarea
in fourthmillenniumEgypt,butthey
gradually
diminished
ascultivation,
raisinglivestock,andclearingwoodland,alongwithclimaticchanges,
causedsteppevegetation
to recede.
Today,althoughtheEgyptiandesert
stillsupports
somevegetation
andwildlife,manhasbroughtmanyEgyptian
desertspeciesto thebrinkof extinction,
andthedesertandsteppeenvironmentsthattheancientEgyptians
knewcanbe foundonlyin presentdaySudanor farthersouth.
7

I. Comb

2. The Hunt in the Steppe

h. 2X4 in.
ca.3200 B.C. Ivory;
Predynastic,
M. DavisCollection,
(S.7cm).Theodore
M. Davis,I9Ii
ofTheodore
Bequest

Dynasty, probablyca. 23S0B.C.


Saqqara,
in. (60.3cm). Rogers
Limestone;h. 23X4
Fund,I908 (08.20I.Ig)

(30.8.224)

The animalsminutelycarvedin relief


on thissmallcomb(itsteethnow
missing)havebeenidentifiedwith
On oneside
moreorlesscertainty.
(fromthetop)area rowof elephants
standingon giantcobras,thenone
of a stork,whichhasa snakeunderits
eitherits foodor the
beak(indicating
it inhabits),
wetlandenvironment
leadinga giraffe,threemorestorks,
anda heronorcrane.Thenextthree
the
rowsincludea dogattacking
hindmostof threelargefelines,a line
of antelope(possiblyonegazelleand
threeoryx),anda lineof whatmight
be dogsorpigs,endingin a staror
flower.On thecomb'sothersidethe
butbelow
top two rowsarerepeated,
a row,
in
(jackals?)
themarecanids
followedby cattleorwildbulls,and
againa lineof dogsorpigs.Theanifromrowto
directions
malsalternate
or
row.Thlscreatesan lmpresslon
whilethe
continuityandperpetuity,
factthattheentirespaceis filledwith
animalsspeaksof an overwhelming
of animallife.
abundance
The elephantsaremoreschematithantheotheranimals,
callypresented
andtheirpositionatoptheserpents
seemsto be symbolic.The mythology
eleof manyAfricanpeoplesassociates
phantsandserpentswiththecreation
r

Thebowandarrowwasthemostimportanthuntlngweaponln anclent
Egypt,butduringthe Oldandearly
MiddleKingdomsgrazinganimals
wereoftenhuntedwithlassosafter
theherdhadbeendrivenintoa stockto catchthe
ade.It wasimportant
animalsaliveso thattheycouldbe fattenedin captivitybeforetheywere
Onedetail(top)showsan
slaughtered.
beingroped
ibexnubiana,
ibex,Capra
row
The uppermost
of theuniverse.
of thesteppe.
in thehillylandscape
a cre- Thepenis not represented
of eachreliefmaythusrepresent
in this
ativedeityto whomtherestof the
relief,asit is in manyotherhunting
No human scenes.Dogsaccompany
animalsowetheirexistence.
thehuntsbeingis depictedon thecomb,butthe men;in theotherdetail(bottom)
dog shown onehoundcatchesa Dorcasgazelle,
of theattacking
presence
by its upward-curling Gazella
asdomesticated
by the leg, while
dorcas,
hintsat theexistenceof man,
tail
anotherattacksa hyena.A hareanda
withpharathehunter.Comparison
gazellecrouchbehindtreesandbushes
suchasthe
onicrepresentations,
to escapethehunters.Hieroglyphic
sugeven
drawingin numberI2, may
givetheanimals'names
inscriptions
gestthatthisdogbelongsto a ruling
anddescribethelassohunt.
chieftainorking.
In additionto thewell-known
times
Whileivoryin pharaonic
theMuseum
completetombof Perneb,
wasveryoftenof hippotooth,this
chapelof Prince
ownsthefunerary
combis madeof elephantivory,an
Thedetailsherearetaken
Ra-m-kaj.
indicationthatelephantsmaystill
froma reliefon its southwall.The
havebeenroamingthedesert-steppes princeandheirto the thronemust
becausea
at theendof thefourthmillennium
havediedprematurely,
of dynastichisB.C. Bythe beginning
carvedfora judge
tomboriginally
wasadaptedfor
tory,elephantsandgiraffesweregone
namedNeferiretnes
fromEgypt,andtodaylionsno
.l1S lnterment.
longerlivethere.
.

01

3. Gazelle
ivory,
Dynasty
I8, ca.I400 B.C. Tinted
inlay;h. 4/2 in.
wood,andblue-pigment
S. Harkness
Edward
(II.5 cm).Purchase,
Gift,I926 (26.7.I292)

A lovepoemof theNewKingdom
likensthepassionof the loverto the
intensityof a gazelleasit fleesthe
hunter:
O thatyoucameto yoursister[lover]
swiftly,
Likea boundinggazellein thewild;
Itsfeetreel,itslimbsareweary,
hasenteredits body.
Terror
A hunterpursuesit withhishounds.

Thiselegantivorygazelleseems
poisedforjustsucha flight,itsslenderlegssetdaintilyon theuneven
groundof thesteppe.It standsamong
desertplantsthatareincisedintothe
woodenbaseandfilledwithbluepigment.Theplumplittlebodyis
smoothandlustrous,theheadheld
alertlyon a swanlikeneck,andthe
circular
eyestinteda velvetybrown.

Purplecoloringon theforeheadand
muzzle,aswellasasymmetrically
lineson the
appliedpurple-brown
backandtail,mayindicatedifferencesin theshadingof thefur.The
hoovesaredarkbrown.Theanimal's
earsarebrokenoff,andthehorns,
madeof anothermaterial,
originally
aremlsslng.
Thegazellestatuettewasmost
partof a richburialequipprobably
ment.In thiscontexttheanimal
servedasa symbolforthepowersof
attributed
to
renewalthatEgyptians
alldesertandsteppeanimals.The
themummy
Museumalsopossesses
of a realgazellethatwasburiedwith
thecoffinof a Thebanladyof
Dynasgr26 (664-525B.C.).
.

4. Weightof ThreeDebenin the


Shapeof a Gazelle
DynastyI8, reignof AmenhotepIII,
ca. I390-I353 B.C. Bronze;h. 2X8 in.
(5.4cm). Purchase,LilaAchesonWallace
Gift,I968 (68.I39.I)

Theartistwhoshapedthisbronze
obgazellewasa masterof carefully
serveddetails.Theneckstretches
fromitshumpedbasein a natural,
The
correctmanner.
anatomically
aretensed,
musclesof thehindquarters
theweightrestingon theleg
reflecting
joints.Heavy,droopinglidshalfcover
nostrilsare
theeyes,andtheanimal's
flaredasif scentingtheair.Theartist
thequalitiesof thehard
hascaptured
knobbyhornsandthesoftfurryears.
Threeincisionson thebackof the
animalindicatethatthefigurewas
(273
supposedto weighthreedeben
grams),whichis slightlymorethanits
actualweightof 26I.8 grams,a differBronze
encecausedbycorrosion.
weightsin animalformwerecommonduringtheNewKingdom.They
weremainlyusedto weighgoldthat
servedaspaymentandtributeorwas
in
usedbyjewelersor othercraftsmen
theirwork.

o',

1,,s,'7

i-

tt

e t,vt

.'w'' t

shrs

J ; Ss
*

-;

4-

+t

>
1

ts;y:v
) :*l
S
>

: o:
|ol;

w:W

,^

S Antelope Head
Dynasty27, 525-404 B.C. Graywacke,
inlaid
Egyptianalabaster
andagateeyes;h. 3/2 in.
(9 cm). Purchase,
RogersandFletcher
FundsandJosephPulitzerBequest,I992
(I992.

55)

Thesculptorhasshapedthisheadof
anantelopeso skillfullythata distinct
impression
of itsdelicate,thinbone
structure
is conveyed.
Theskinis
stretched
overtensesinewsandlean
flesh.Thesoft,sensitivemuzzleseems
welladaptedto sampledesertherbs
andgrass.Theeyes,almondshaped
withluminousalabaster
inlaysfor
theeyeballs,areespecially
striking.
Theremaining
agateinlayof theright
pupil bluishpurplewitha gray
outercircle lendsa hypnoticquality
to theantelope's
gaze.Originally
hornsof ivoryor gildedwoodwere
attachedto theheadbytenons.
Onlyrecentlyhavegazelles,antelope,andibexbecomescarceto the
polntorextlnctlonln egypt.even at
thetimethisheadwasmade,however,it wasprobably
rarefortheordinarynonhuntingEgyptianof the
alluviallandto encounteroneof these
elegantcreatures.
Thesculptorcertainlyreflectedin hisworkan expressionof aweat thequasi-miraculous
appearance
of theanimal.
Thehead a masterpiece
of Late
Periodanimalsculpture-wasmost
likelynot partof anentirefigurebut
rathercrownedtheprowof a ceremonialboatdedicatedto thegodSokar,
whowasin chargeof thedesertand
thepyramidcemeteries
nearEgypt's
capital,Memphis.

6. Ibex
Dynasty
I8, ca.I55O-I300
B.C. Faience
(figures
of a crocodile
anda fishengraved
onunderside);
h. /2 in. (I.2 cm).Purchase,
Edward
S. Harkness
Gift,I926 (26.7.So)

7. Ibex
LateDynasty
I8, probably
reignof
Amenhotep
III,ca.I390-I353 B.C. Mottled
semitranslucent
cryptocrystalline
quartz
closelyresembling
jasper(horndamaged;
twoholesdrilledon underside,
oneeach,
frontandback);h. I in. (2.5 cm).Purchase,
Vaughn
Foundation
Gift,I980 (I980.2)

ibexfrequently
servedasthehieroglyphicemblemfortheword"year."
Thesetworepresentations
of recumbentibexaremarkedly
different
fromeachotherin postureandexpression.
Thefaienceanimalon its
littlebasemightbe crouching
behind
a bushduringa hunt.Eyeswideopen
andheadonlyslightlyraisedfromthe
forelegs,theanimalseemsto be listeningandsniffingforthedreaded
hunterandhisdogs.In contrast,the
quartzibexliftsitS headproudlyon
an uprightneck.In a posturerecalling
thebronzegazelle(no.4), both
forelegsarebentbackward
andthe
bodyrestsgracefully
on theleft
haunch.Despitethesmallsizeof
thefigure,theartisthasconveyedthe
unevenweightdistribution
with
remarkable
accuracy.
Theanimal's
body
is curved,andthelefthindleghasdisappeared
underthehaunch.Thispose
wasusedforthelargeramsculptures
thatKingAmenhotep
IIIdedicated
to
thegodAmun-Reat his templeof
Soleb,UpperNubia.The stronginfluencesuchlargesculptures
exerted
on theminorartsis reflectedin the
smallfiguresof thisibexandthe
bronzegazelle.
The two ibexfiguresservedas
adornment.
Thefaienceoneis pierced
horizontally
to fit into a ring.The
quartzibexmayhavedecorated
an
elaborate
perfumevessel,in which
caseit wouldhavebeenattachedby
pegsortubesprotruding
fromtheundersideandbypiecesof wiresecuring
it frontandback.

TheancientEgyptians
considered
the
ibexto be a good-luckcharmand
symbolof renewal.Ibexfiguresoften
decorated
NewYear's
gifts,andin
"HappyNewYear"
inscriptions
an
13

8. Statuetteof the GodAnubisas


Embalmer
304-30B.C. Woodwith
Period,
Ptolemaic
gessoandpaint;h. I6/2 in. (42cm).Giftof
I938(38.5)
Mrs.MyronC.Taylor,

the
Thiswoodenfigurerepresents
godAnubiswitha canidheadon a
humanbody,wearingthefeather
costumeof Egyptiandeities.In this
pose handsraised,palmsdownpurifiward thegodperformed
ritesover
cationandtransfiguration
a mummy.Duringtheactualmummltlcatlonprocess,a prlestwearlnga
canidmaskplayedtheroleof Anubis.
*

era.Thespecieswasrareevenduring
timesandlivednot in the
pharaonic
steppeproperbutin thebrushat the
lands.It is
borderof theagricultural
actuallysaw
likelythatfewEgyptians
thisshyanimal,althoughfromthe
OldthroughtheNewKingdomrepstags
of themagnificent
resentations
appearin imagesof thehuntin the
desert.
thiscenTheartistwhohammered
terprotomefromsheetgoldforthe
crownof a Hyksosladyof highrank
createdsucha detailedimagethathe
musteitherhaveseentheactualcreatureorbasedhisworkuponanother
Thehead
closeobservation.
artist's
showsalltheessentialcharacteristics
of thespecies:themajesticdimenbrow,puffy
furrowed
sions,triangular
nose,andlarge
cheeks,rectangular
ears.Evenminordetails
funnel-shaped
fromtheknobby
arewellrepresented,
cirdesaroundthebaseof theantlers
indicatedbytwistedgoldwireand
aroundtheears to thepores
repeated
in thefleshof thenose.Thesenaturalof
aswellasthetechnique
isticfeatures,
obthree-dimensional
manufacturing
halves,
jectsbyjoiningtwohammered
thatthe
Egyptian
is so essentially
be attributed
piecemustundoubtedly
artlst.
to an qgyptlan
Thediademis alsoadornedwith
headsof gazellesandlotusblossoms.
Beginningin theOldKingdom,
withpapyrusandlotus
headbands
worn
werefrequently
ornaments
byEgyptianwomen.Thecombinationof marshflowersandhorned
headshasa foreign
desert-animal
thatmaybestbe
however,
character,
to thetasteof a Hyksos
attributed
clientwithstrongtiesto theCanaanite
MiddleBronzeAgeculture.
.

9. StagProtomefroma Diadem
ca.I640I5-I6,
Period,
Dynasty
Hyksos
37/6 in.
h. of protome
IS5O B.C. Gold;
Wallace
LilaAcheson
(8.8 cm).Purchase,
Gift,I968 (68.I36.I)

The Persianfallowdeer,Damv
cameto Egyptbyway
mesopotamica,
of theSuezisthmusin thePleistocene

to. Headof a Canid,Possiblya


Jackal
LatePeriod,664-332B.C. Gypsumplaster;
1.2M2
in. (6.4 cm). RogersFund,I974
(I974264)

of wildcanids
Theclassification
jackal,Cvnis
forinstancetheEgyptian
lupaster, andthewilddog livingat
themarginsof theEgyptiandesert
causesproblemsevenforzoologists.It
thatthe
therefore,
is not surprising,
didnot distinguish
ancientEgyptians
canidspeciesin theirrepreparticular
of gods,suchasthenecropsentations
olisgodAnubis(seeno. 8);Duamutef,
oneof thefoursonsof Horus;or
thegodof Asyut,a town
Wepwawet,
in MiddleEgypt.Thissensitively
modeledplasterheadcouldhave
servedto depictanyof thesedeities.
Theuseof plasterandtherough,unmodeledareaaroundtheearsindicate
thattheheadwascastin a mold.
hasshownthat
Recentresearch
Egyptianartistsuseda varietyof finely
fortrial
gradedplastermaterials
piecesandfinishedworksof art.This
smallheadis in a classwithOldKingheadsandthefamous
dom"reserve"
from
New Kingdomplasterportraits
studioatAmarna.In the
anartist's
moldcastingwas
latterworkshop,
alsopracticed.

15

II.

AnubisRecumbent

Dynasty26-27,664-404B.C.
Saqqara,
paintedblack(neck,
originally
Limestone,
nose,leftear,rightleg,andpartof base
Milton
1.25X4
in.(64cm).Adelaide
restored);
of thedeGroot
deGrootFund,in memory
I969(6g.Io5)
andHawleyfamilies,

EgyptianartistsoftendepictedAnubis
entirelyin animalformandin a pose
To
indicatingwatchfulguardianship.
in theEgyptian
thisday,in cemeteries
desert,wilddogsguardingtheirterritoriesstretchoutin thesamealertpose
asthispowerfilllimestonesculpture.
figurewasexcavated
The near-lifesize
WalterB.
by Britisharchaeologist
Emeryin a templedepositat Saqqara,
nearancientEgypt's
thevastnecropolis
Templeobjectswere
capital,Memphis.
gatheredandhiddenduringthevariousforeignraidson Memphis.It is not
knownfromwhichtempletheAnubis
statuecame.A LatePeriodsanctuary
of Anubis,calledtheAnubieion,
by oneof thenumerwassurrounded
thatwere
at Saqqara
ouscemeteries
dedicatedto theburialof
specifically
sacredanimals.

16

t2. PharaohSpearsa Lion


20lateDynasty
Valley
oftheKings,
Thebes,
Period,ca.II00ThirdIntermediate
h. (ofstone)
limestone;
700 B.C. Painted
S.
Edward
5/2 in. (I4 cm).Purchase,
Gift,I926 (26.7.I453)
Harkness

livedin aweof
TheancientEgyptians
thegreatfelines,andlionsespecially
of
astheembodiment
wereregarded

.-:

power.A lionessdeity,forexample,
in a MiddleKingdom
wasaddressed
textas"theGreat,whoseeyesare
keenandwhoseclawsaresharp,the
lionesswhoseesandcatchesby
night."Thehuntingof lionswasa
asshownin this
royalprerogative,
anddetailedsketchby an
masterly
whoadded
Egyptiandraftsman,
praiseto pharaohin floweryscripton
thebackof thepiece.Flakesof the
denseThebanlimestonewerethetraof scribesand
ditional"notepaper"
artistsin theNewKingdom.The
handsareoftenthoseof master
(seealsonos.3Sand63).
draftsmen
havestressedthatthislion
Scholars
doesnot standon thesamelevelas
dog.As
pharaohandhiswell-trained
thelionembodiestheforcesof chaos,
it belongsto a worldbeyondthe
orderedrealmof theEgyptianking.
Lionswerepartof the Egyptian
faunauntilabouttwocenturiesago,
periodsthey
andin thepharaonic
musthavebeenfairlycommon.They
wellknownto herdswerecertainly
menandhuntersasthemostdangerousanimalof thesteppe.Recentlythe

skeletal
remains
of adultaswellas
younglionswerediscovered
nearthe
tombof theFirstDynasty
kingHor
Aha(ca.2960-2926
B.C.) atAbydos,
MiddleEgypt clearevidence
that
fromthebeginning
Egyptians
kept
captive
lionsattheroyalcourt.Theremainsof a NewKingdom
zoowere
foundin theDeltapalaceof King
Ramesses
II(ca.I279-I2I3 B.C.) at
Qantir.
Lions,elephants,
andhorned
desertbeastshadbeenkeptin this
menagerie.

Theartist's
sketchof a royallion
huntwasreportedly
foundnearthe
entrance
to thetombofTutankhamun,whereit wasdiscarded
byan
artist,probably
working
in oneof the
lateNewKingdom
tombsnearby.

I3. RecumbentLion
SaidtO befromGebelein,
EarlyDynastic,
ca.3000-2700
B.C. Quartz;
h. 43/4 in.
(I2 cm).Purchase,
Fletcher
FundandGuide
Foundation
Inc.Gift,I966 (66.99.2)

Theabstract
form,lackof a base,and
thewaythetailcurlsup acrossthe
backof thisglowingfigureof a lion
datesit to EarlyDynastictimes.It is a
somewhatenigmaticmasterpiece,
and
scholarshaveproposed
variousinterpretations.
Theanimalhasbeenidentifiedasa manelessmalelion,a
lioness,anda cub.Thislastis most
likely.Noneof thehardstone
sculpturesof powerfuladultlionsthatwere
madearoundthesamedatematches
theshorthead,over-large
nose,soft

mouth,andgeneralfurriness
of ears,
paws,andbody.Thesefeatures,
decidedlythoseof a younglion,mustbe
readasintentionally
reproduced
characteristics
of theanimalrepresented.
It is diSlcultto explainthemeaning
of a lion-cubsculpture
in thecontext
of Egyptianreligionandart,especiallyin thisearlyperiod.In ancient
Egyptlionsusuallyrepresented
the
king.Therewasa famoustempleof
thegoddessHathorat Gebelein,
wherethequartzlionwasreportedly
found.Beginningin earlytimes,
Hathorwasnot onlythegoddessof
lovebutalsoa celestialmotherdeity
whoappeared
asa cowsucklingthe
kingandasa wildlioness.Isthequartz
lionherson,theking?
17

I4. Amuletin the Formof a Seated


Goddesswith LionHead

NewKingdomstatuesof Sakhmet,
goddessof warandpestilence.On the
beautiful,slenderbodyof a woman
ThirdIntermediate
Period,ca.I0707I2 B.C. Faience;
h. 2/2 in. (6.scm).Purchase, sitsthemenacingheadof a lionessenEdward
S. Harkness
Gift,I926 (26.7.868)
circledbythemaneof themale,which
hadbecomea symbolof powerused
regardless
of gender.In herrighthand
In Egyptianreligionliongodswere
thegoddessholdsa sistrum,a musical
lessprominentthanlionessdeities.
instrument
likea rattle.Thesistrum
The femalesembodiedtheessence
of supernatural
powerandweremuch wasusedin performances
thatwere
believedto transform
revered.
However,it wasthegeneral
thedangerous
conceptof thelionessdeitythatwas
Sakhmetinto Bastet,thecatgoddess,
important,
not themanynamesunder herbenigncounterpart.
If Egyptians
in theNewKingdom
whichsheappeared.
Thisoftenmakes
it difflcultto distinguish
iconographic- wouldcallthisgoddessSakhmet,
allybetweenthevariouslionessdeities thoselivingin theThirdIntermediate
n egyptlanart.
andLatePeriodsoftenunderstood
seatedfiguresof thelionessdeityto be
The enthroned
goddessof this
intricateamuletcloselyresembles
Wadjet,thegoddessof LowerEgypt,
*

18

Tn

whoalsoappeared
in theshapeof a
cobra(seenos.48 and49). Believed
to be endowedwithmagicpowers,
thisWadjetin heramuleticroleis
supported
bya demonnamed
Nehebkaw.
He appearsin thelatticeworkon thesideof thegoddess's
throneasa serpentwithhumanarms
andlegs.Beforehimanotherlioness
deityis seen,thisonestanding.
Sincealllionessdeitieswereclosely
relatedto thesungod,Re,thisamulet'sheadwasoncecrownedby a sun
disk,possiblyof gildedbronzeorgold.
It wasattachedby meansof a peg
insertedintoa holedrilledbetween
theanimal's
ears.

In theMiddleKingdomthisbeliefled
to thecustomof includingimagesof
leopard
headsin girdleswornby
Malqata,DynastyI8, reignof Amenhotep
III,ca. I390-I3S3 B.C. Egyptianalabaster;
women.Thelargeheadsof thispiece
1.sAsin. (I3 cm).RogersFund,I9II (II.2IS.7IS)
weremadein twohalveshammered
fromsheetgoldandsolderedtogether.
understood
the
Theinteriorspaceswerefilledwith
TheancientEgyptians
pebblesso thata rhythmicsoundwas
leopard,Panthera
pardus,andthe
respectively,
cheetah,Acinonyxjubatus,
createdwhentheowner a princess
verastheUpperandLowerEgyptian
namedSithathoryunetwalkedor
sionsof thesameanimal.It is theredanced.Thegirdlewasfoundwiththe
Amulet
I6. DoubleLeopard-Head
thatnot all
foreunderstandable
richjewelryin an
restof theprincess's
froma Girdle
clearly
representations
distinguished
niche
of
herplundered
undisturbed
of Senwosret
II,DynLahun,pyramid
betweenthetwolargefelines.In this
tombat Lahun.Thethreadthatheld
B.C. Goldand
astyI2, ca.I900-I840
handleof a cosmeticspoonthelong
Rogers theelementstogetherhaddisinte1.IX4 in.(4 S cm).Purchase,
amethyst;
Gift,I9I6 (I6.I.6)
indicates FundandHenryWalters
neckof theanimalprobably
grated,buteachpiecewaspainstakingis
being
celethatthecheetahis
leap
fromthesedimentbyone
ly recovered
brated.Thespoon,clearlya luxury
headsandskins and,less
Leopard
archaeologists,
Guy
of theexpedition's
item,wasfoundin the palaceof
often,thoseof cheetahs servedas
AftertheMuseumacquired
Brunton.
KingAmenhotepIII,oneof thegreat priestlygarments
andwerebelievedto mostof thejewelryin I9I6, thegirdle
huntersamongEgypt'spharaohs.
rejuvenation
andfertility.
guarantee
fromBrunton's
sketches.
wasrestrung
IS. LargeFelineas Handleof a
CosmeticSpoon

Bothleopards
andcheetahswere
commonin Egypt,astheywerein the
restof Africaduringancienttimes.
extinctin Egypt,
Todaytheyarelargely
havingbeenseenat
thelastleopards
century,
of thetwentieth
thebeginning
arestillliving
whereasrarecheetahs
neartheLibyanborder.

19

a-Mw#-R

@'
*

-Ft2-

::
w -s

'
i*^f
|g

_#e

:*k- ;SX '


<-,,

s X r

in a papyrus
is expressed
thedeceased
Period
of theThirdIntermediate
B.C.
EarlyDynastyI2, ca. I990-I900
(ca.I070-7I2 B.C.): "Ohcatof lapis
h. S:/2in. (I4 cm).
Egyptianalabaster;
LilaAchesonWallaceGift,I990
Purchase,
lazuli,greatof forms. . . mistressof
(I990. S9 . I)
house,grantthebeautheembalming
teousWest[Landof the Dead]:in
peace[abenediction]."
catsdidnot appearin
Domesticated
wildcat
Thisexquisitealabaster
EgyptianartbeforetheMiddleKingthefierceandagile
dom,andthenonlyin rareinstances, vividlycaptures
Theartist
buttheAfricanwildcat,Felissilvestris natureof analertpredator.
hascombinedthebroadmusculature
by
represented
libyca,wasalready
andshorttailof theswampcatwith
artistsduringtheOldKingdom,or
at leastfromabout2250 B.C. onward. thestripedfurof E silvestris. Thecat
forelegs
sitslightlyon itshaunches,
Thehabitatof thissolitarypredator
to sprlng.
W
posltlon,reacWy
withyellowfurandstripedmarkings ln a torwarc
wasthesteppeandbrushat the marThereis nothingdomesticin thesmall
headwithitserectears,wide-open
ginsof thedesert,fromwhichit may
muzzle.Thisis
eyes,andwell-defined
havemadeforaysintothewetlands
beast,wellableto assist
in searchof prey,suchasmice,birds,
a dangerous
livedanother thesungodagainsttheevilApophis.
andfish.Inthemarshes
forcosmeticor
Toserveasa container
wildcatspecies,theswampcat,E
body,solid- medicinalointment,thealabaster
chaus,whichhada heavier
coloredfur,anda shorttail.
formwashollowedoutuntil,in places,
weregreatlyimit becameeggshellthin.A stonestopTheEgyptians
prowess,espe- per(nowmissing)originally
fit into
pressedby thewildcat's
ciallyits ferocityin fightingpoisonous theopeningbetweenthecat'sears.A
snakes.Thisspecialtalentmadeit an
of suchexquisiteferocity
container
helperof thesungod,Re, wouldsurelyhavelentpotencyto its
appropriate
in hisstruggleagainsttheApophis
oil.
contents,a perfumed
of allevil.
snake,theembodiment
thesungodhimselfcould
Sometimes
evenappearin theshapeof the"great
Thecat'sroleashelperof
tomcat."
I7. Wildcat

I8. Jerboas
MiddleKingdom,lateDynastyI2 or
DynastyI3) ca. I8SO-I6sO B.C. Faience;
h. I%6 in. (3.I cm);I /6 in. (4.2 cm).
EdwardS. HarknessGift,I926
Purchase,
(26.7.900,

.90I)

jerboa(fromtheArabic
TheEgyptian
"fleshof lions"),Jacumeaning
yarbu
lusjaculus,is wellequippedforjumpingand,givenitssmallsize,canleap
r . .
.
orS1X orseven
cWlstance
a surprlslng
jerboassuchasthesehave
feet.Faience
beenfoundin a numberof Middle
Kingdomtombs.A groupof three,of
whichtwoaredepictedhere,was
allegedlyfoundat Heliopolis,in the
Delta,togetherwitha
southeastern
faiencefigureof a wildcatandthe
magicrod(no.38).If thisis correct,
strong
thetombownerhadespecially
beliefsin thepotencyof animals.
Thejerboais usuallyrepresented
sittinguprighton its hindlegs,its
pawsraisedto itsmuzzle,whichis how
manyrodentssitwheneating.It is
alsopossiblethattheancientEgyptians
thegestureaspraying
interpreted
voto thesolardeity.Usedasfunerary
tives,thejerboasmayhaveservedto
hopethathe
thedeceased's
strengthen
orshewouldreacha newdayin comwiththesungod.
panionship
21

I9. Genet
Dynasty26-29, 664-380 B.C. Faience;
1.Ysin. (2.2cm).TheodoreM. Davis
Collection,Bequestof TheodoreM. Davis,
I9IS

depictedin theOld
werefrequently
This
andearlyMiddleKingdoms.
tinyfigureatteststo theirpresencein
thefirstmillenniumB.C.

(30-8-8S9)

genetta,is a small
The genet,Genetta
relatedto the civet,Viverra
carnivore
civetta,butwithlesswell-developed
usedartistic
scentglands.Egyptians
licenseto showthesmallspotted
genet,likethewildcatandichneumon(ormongoose),stalkingbirds
andotherpreyin papyrusthickets.
Thegenet'sproperhabitat,however,
wasthetallgrassandshrubsof the
steppeandat thedesertmargins,
whichit wouldleaveto huntin the
as didthewildcatandthe
marshes,
Thegenetwassometimes
ichneumon.
tamedandkeptasa mouser.Today
genetsareextinctin Egypt,butthey

SealAmuletsin the Shapeof


Hedgehogs
20.

ca.ISSLefttO right:NewKingdom,
steatite(scrolldesignon
I070 B.C. Glazed
base);1.1/6 in. (I.8 cm).Dynasty26,
withlonglegs
(animal
B.C. Faience
664-S2S
onbase);1.%16in. (I.4 cm).Late
[gazelle?]
Dynasty26, 664-S2s B.C.
Period,probably
on base"the
blue(inscribed
Egyptian
1.13%6in.
of BastetSi-mer-diw");
beloved
Gould,I9I0
(2.I cm).Giftsof HelenMiller
(I0. I30. 87I,

. 884,

. 882)

wereknown
Twokindsof hedgehogs
the desert
to theancientEgyptians:
aethiopicus,
hedgehog,Paraechinus
on theleftandrightin
represented

andHemiechinus
theillustration,
auritus,whichhadlargerearsandis
shownin thecenter.The firstof these
speciesis nearlyextinctin Egypttoday
butmusthavebeencommonin pharaonictimes.DuringtheOld Kingdom
hedgehogs
Parvechinus
short-eared
livedon thesteppeandat the desert
edgein burrowsfromwhichthey
emergedat dawnor duskto search
formealsof insects,smallmice,and
carrion.Eventodaythelarge-eared
dwellsin thealluvial
Hemiechinus
landof theNile Delta.
In Egyptianartdeserthedgehogs
of thehunt
arepartof representations
in the desert.Theyaredepictedeither
in cagebasketsamongthebootyor in
in frontof
thesteppeenvironment
The latter
dens.
to
their
entrances
the
to thehedgecouldbe a reference
hogs'habitof sleepingunderground

whenfoodis scarce.Theirreappearmaybe the


anceafterlongabsences
that
belief
basisforthe Egyptians'
of life,
therenewal
heralded
hedgehogs
fortheirusein amulets.
anexplanation
Hedgehogamuletswerealsothought
snakebites.
to protectagainstpoisonous
HemAmuletsshowingthelong-eared
iechinusarelessfrequentthanthosein
theshapeof thedeserthedgehog.
2I.

HareAmulet

PtolemaicPeriod,304-30 B.C. Faience;


Fund,I944(44.4.z5)
1. I%8in. (3.5cm).Rogers

Amongthesmallanimalsof the
Egyptiandesertis thedeserthare,
Lepuscapensis.In ancienttimesit was
worthypreyfor
not considered
princelyhunters,andin representaonlyoccasionally
tionsit appears

amongthespoilsof thehunt.In
manyhuntingscenes,however,it can
aspart
be foundin thebackground
Thetombreliefof
of thelandscape.
(seeno. 2), forexample,
Ra-m-kaj
includesa desertharein muchthe
samepositionastheonethatforms
thisamulet.It croucheslowto the
ground,earsflattened,intenton eludingthehunter'snotice.Thedesert
fur(heretranshare'ssand-colored
formedto anamuleticblue)servesit
If detected,howwellascamouflage.
ever,thehareusesits greatspeedto
helpit to escape.
Thehare'samuleticroleis not
knownforcertain.AncientGreekand
Romanauthorsbelievedthathares
couldsleepwiththeireyesopenand
withoutcopulation.If
reproduce
thesewerealsoEgyptianbeliefs,the

extreme
haremighthaverepresented
vigilanceor theprimevaldeity'sselfcreatingpower.
22. Hareas a Hieroglyph
II,
templeof Mentuhotep
Deirel-Bahri,
II,
DynastyII, latereignof Mentuhotep
1.of
limestone;
ca.2040-tOIO B.C. Painted
I1X6
in. (5cm).Giftof Egypt
hieroglyph
Fund,I907 (07.230.z)
Exploration

Thisdetailof a relieffromKingMentempleat Deir


tuhotepII'smortuary
el-Bahriis a goodexampleof thecare
withwhichEgyptianartistsrendered
insignsin monumental
hieroglyphic
writing
In thepictographic
scriptions.
systemof ancientEgypt,theharerepof consonants
resentsthecombination
wn andwasthususedin theimportant
wordmeaning"tobe."

23

Wetlandsand

Waterways

withdanofphara- theirstrengthin encounters


thebeginning
considerable gerousanimalssuchascrocodilesor
onichistory
hippos;theycouldspearfishorcatch
of theNile
portions
Egypt's
Delta,modern
ducksandgeesebydeftlyhurlingtheir
throwsticks.Womencouldgather
area,conpopulated
mostdensely
or
Other flowersandpapyrusforadornment
andmarshes.
sistedof swamps
pock- helphandlethecapturedbirds.
asoccasional
occurred
wetlands
the
In religion,art,andliterature,
southalongtheNileandin
etsfarther
the
desert
even
more
than
marshlands,
as
known
formation
thegeological
times andsteppe,cameto be endowedwith
Inancient
depression.
theFayum
Lovers
of a paradise.
thecharacter
intothe
drained
thelakeatFayum
Nileandmusthavebeenconsiderably likenedtheiramorouspursuitsto those
of birdcatchersin papyrusthickets,a
larger
andlesssaltythanit istoday.
in a New Kingdom
grewinthese themeexpressed
marsh
vegetation
Typical
Egyptian lovesong:
areas.
Thefamous
waterlogged
head,
than
a
man's
grewhigher
papyrus
Thewildgoosesoarsandswoops,
fora
anidealenvironment
providing
It alightson thenet;
of birds(bothindigenous
multitude
Manybirdsswarmabout,
mammals.
andaquatic
andmigratory)
I haveworkto do.
of fish
Therewasalsoanabundance
I amheldfastbymylove,
lifein theNileitandotheraquatic
Alone,myheartmeetsyourheart,
aswell
canals,
selfandintheirrigation
FromyourbeautyI'llnotpart!
of
both
the
salt
waters
asinthe
In templeritualsgodsandtheking
andtheRedSea.
Mediterranean
tombinscription wereseenin theroleof marshland
AnOldKingdom
huntersdefeatingtheforcesof evil
as
thehuntin themarsh
describes
embodiedin thehippo,asexpressed
on
Paddling
of theheart."
a "delight
thepapyrus in linesof ritualtextsuchasthese
lightreedboatsthrough
concerning
thegod Horus:
wasfor
fishingandfowling,
thickets,
wayto
a mostdesirable
theEgyptians
A happyday!I havecastmyharpoon
andbeautyof
therichness
experience
lustily!
Heremencouldprove
divinecreation.
24

At

A happyday!Myhandshavethemashead!
teryofhis[thehippo's]
I havecastatthecowsof the
inwaterofeight
hippopotami
cubits. . .
withmyrighthand,
I havehurled
I swungwithmyleft,
does.
Asa boldfen-man
As a child,Horus,theskygodof
kingship,wasbelievedto havebeen
wherehis
raisedin the marshes,
mother,Isis,hidhimagainsttheevil
Seth,whohadkilledHorus'sfather,
Osiris.Suchritualsandmythsexplain
whyimagesof thehuntin themarshes
werefavoritethemesof tombreliefs
pharaonic
andpaintingsthroughout
history.In essencesuchscenesserved
assymbolsforthepowerof natureto
a cyclein
renewitselfconstantly,
whicheachEgyptianwishedto parviewersof marsh
ticipate.Present-day
scenesin ancientEgyptianartshould
realizethattheydo not seenaturalisdepictionsbutidealized
tic landscape
throughtheirkeen
images.However,
senseforrealisticdetail,Egyptian
artistsmanagedtO capturemuchof
beautifulfloraandfauna
thecountry's
mythical
landscapes.
in the

*
;

'

i
.,

.s

\'
.

tk

',,fi,
..

L.&''

OldKingdomartistsdepictedthe
ottercatchingfishin thepapyrus
thicket.DuringtheLatePeriodand
Ptolemaic
timesottersin bronzestatuettessuchasthisonewererepresentedstanding,forepaws
raised,atop
smallbronzeboxes.As in thecaseof
baboons,theraisedpawsof theotter
is a poseof adoration
beforethesun
godwhenhe risesin themorning.
Thegreathymnto Atenbeautifully
expresses
thisdailyoccasionforprayer
ancbreJolclng:
*

Earthbrightens
whenyoudawnin
lightland
WhenyoushineasAtenof daytime;
Asyoudispelthedark,
Asyoucastyourrays,
TheTwoLandsarein festivity.
Awaketheystandon theirfeet,
Youhaverousedthem;
Bodiescleansed,clothed,
Theirarmsadoreyourappearance.

In mythotterswereattachedto the
goddessof LowerEgypt,Wadjet,
whosecultwascenteredin Buto,in
thenorthernDelta.Theanimalmay
havebeencommonon theshoresof
nearbyLakeBurullus.

v
'

23. Otter

'

PtolemaicPeriod,304-30 B.C. Bronze;


h. I73/8 in. (44 cm). Giftof LilyS. Place,
I9 23 (23.6.2)

sj

.o.

9.

='^'l*s

scenes,richwithplantand
marshland
waspartof
birdlife.Ourfragment
DynastyI8, reignofAmenhotep
Malqata,
thisborderfromroomE.ThemarshIII,ca.I390-I353 B.C. Stuccowithblue,
(upper- landhunterwasomittedin thispaintgreen,yellow,andbrownpigments
topof ducEshead,
mostedge,including
ing;it wasenoughthattheking
20/2 X I6X4 in. (S2x 42.scm).
restored);
himselfwasableto strideacrossthe
Fund,I920 (20.2.2)
Rogers
pavementasmasterof themarshland
paradise.
In thisfragmentof the Malqata
On thewestbankof theNile oppositeThebes(Luxor),KingAmenhotep floorpainting,a duckis seenamong
marsh
of an unidentified
thebranches
IIIandQueenTiyeresidedin a vast
palacein thedesert,nearthepresent- plantbesidearchingstemsof papyrus.
breedin
Manytypesof waterfowl
The floor
dayvillagecalledMalqata.
Africaand
hall"in thispalace Europe,Asia,andnorthern
of a large"audience
winterin Egypt.Thisoneis sketched
wascoveredwithstucco,andon it
in profile,its head,body,andlegs
Egyptianartistspainteda largepool
outlinedin blackandred.Blacklines
withfish,plants,andswimming
definethe
of varyingthicknesses
the
birds.At theborderssurrounding
on its neckandflanks;the
feathering
poolwerepaintedbrightlycolored
26
24. StuccoPavementFragment

curvinglinesgivethebirda fullness
thatis furtherenhancedby thepecuof blueand
liarpatchydistribution
ocherpaint.Throughthiscombinaandpainting,
tionof draftsmanship
theartisthascapturedtheessenceof
theduck:its headpulledgracefully
backfromthefullcrop,its heavy
bodyis caughtin motion,walkingon
widelyspacedlegswiththeducEs
gait.
typicallyawkward
On closerstudyit becomesapparentthattheheavybirdcouldnever
reston theflimsyleavesandbranches
it.
of themarshplantthatsurrounds
Boththeshrubandneighboring
papyrus,createdentirelywithbold
seemto
strokesof thepaintbrush,
forthebird.
serveonlyasbackground

2s. Fragment
froma TempleRelief
Deirel-Bahri,DynastyII, latereignof
MentuhotepII, ca. 2040-20I0
B.C. Painted
limestone;IS X I3 in. (38 X 33 cm). Giftof
EgyptExploration
Fund,I906 (06.I23I.I)

The birdson thisfragment


arecaught
in a clapnetsetby thefowlersof King
Mentuhotep
II.Themeshof thenet
appears
in yellow-white
paintagainst
thebirds'bodies.Someof theentrappedwaterfowl
sit quietly,perhaps
notyetrealizing
theirplight,while
othersflyup,attempting
to escape.
Theleftuppermost
birdcouldbe a
European
coot.The otherbirdscould

be curlewsandgullsorshovelers.
Manysuchwaterfowl
arecommon
winterguestsin Egypt,although
theybreedin Europe,Asia,andother
partsof northern
Africa.In nature
shovelers
havegreenishnecksandare
otherwise
white,black,andblue-gray.
Cootsareblack,andcurlewsaremostly brownish.
Gullscanbe a number
of colors,fromwhiteto brownto gray,
dependingon thespecies.Thebrown
andyellowpaintin theMentuhotep
reliefwasmostprobably
added
duringa restoration
of thetemplein
DynastyI9. Theoriginalpaintmay
wellhavebeencloserto thebirds'real

colors.Thebackground
wasoriginally
bluewater.
Thefragment
camefromoneof
themanyreliefsthatoncedecorated
thecolumnedporticoesandhallsof
Mentuhotep
II'smortuary
temple.
ThiskingreunitedEgyptafterthe
periodof disunitycalledthe First
Intermediate
Period.Histemple's
innovative
terracearchitecture
influencedEgyptianarchitecture
forcenturiesto come,whilethevastwall
reliefsreflectedthein-depthstudies
of Old Kingdomreliefsmadebythe
king'sartists.

27

26. CosmeticContainersin the


Shapeof Mallards

27. PerfumeVesselin the Shapeof


TwoTrussedDucks

DynastyI8, ca.I400-I300
B .C. Tinted
ivory;h. 3%6 in. (9 cm);3X4 in. (9-5 cm).
Rogers
Fund,I940 (40.2.2, .3)

MiddleKingdom,
probably
lateDynasty
I2I3, ca.I800-I65O
B.C. Anhydrite;
h. 6X4 in.
(I7 cm).Giftof Edward
S. Harkness,
I927
(27.9

.I)

of thebirds,too slenderto support


theirheavyheads,arearchedoverto
formhandles.Witha raretouchof
sentiment,theartisthasmadethe
birds'necksseemto givewayto the
neckof thevesselbetweenthemin
whatcanonlybe calleda gestureof

Thesedelicateivoryboxesarein the
sacrltlclal suDmlsslon.
shapeof mallards,
Anasplatryrhynchos,Skilledcraftsmen,
probably
working
thathavebeenprepared
asofferings, somewhere
in MiddleEgypt,used
Anhydrite
is a rare,semitranslucent
stone,lightmauveorfaintlyblue,and
withthefeatherspluckedfromtheir
anhydrite
to sculptvesselsforcosbythewayit takesa
is characterized
wingsandbodies.Onlythebirds'ele- meticingredients.
Of thosethatsurhighpolish.In theearlyMiddleKingvive,theMuseum's
trussed-duck
gantheadsandgracefully
curving
necksretaintheblackfeathering
and
vesselis undoubtedly
themostbeauquarrymen
discovered
a
domEgyptian
in themountains
to
sourceof anhydrite
whiteneckringtypicalof thisspecies. tiful.The twoducksareprepared
of theeasternEgyptiandesert,which
The artisthascarefully
carvedwebbed be offeredto a deityin a waysimilar
thesourceforthestone
to theivorymallards
(no.26),buthere wasprobably
feeton theunderside
of eachconusedhere.
tainer.Someof thewaterfowl
caught
theartisthasusedthetwobodies
in netswerekeptin enclosures
and
mostingeniously
to forma single
lenticular
flask,translating
thejointsof
fattened,althoughno duckspecies
thebird'slegsintofourlittleknuckles
wastotallydomesticated
in ancient
forthevesselto standon.The necks
Egypt.
*o

28

>

'

:S
JFer

SF:;S.

'1.

'4?F

:iF
,

'

EN
ir.
wB: t
g i:e

- N.i

.;.
^ -

,fe
*

t ' ' ,5
8

tF

s7nt

: d

*S

29. Hieroglyphic Sign Showing an


Ibis
(HermopolisMagna),
El-Ashmunein
PtolemaicPeriod,304-30 B.C. Polychrome
cm). Purchase,
faience;h. 6X8in. (IS*S
EdwardS. HarknessGift,I926 (26.7.992)
This exquisite relief inlay shows a
sacred ibis, Threskiornis aethiopica,
walking atop the crossbar of a standard
that identifies it as a deity. Its beak
is supported by a feather, signifying
supreme order (maat). The ibis was
associated with Thoth, the god of wisdom, whose primary sanctuary was
located in Hermopolis Magna, Middle
Egypt, where the inlay was found. It
was one of several that belonged to
elaborate wooden shrines erected to

28. Statuetteof Thoth


PtolemaicPeriod,304-30 B.C. Faience;
h. SS2in. (I4 cm). Purchase,EdwardS.
HarknessGift, I926 (26.7.860)

faiencestatuette
Thisturquoise-colored
is a beautifulexampleof theskillwith
whichEgyptianartistscombinedanimalheadsandhumanbodiesto create
in thiscase
creatures,
totallyconvincing
god,Thoth.
theibis-headed

30

housestatuesof deities.Thisexample
It repwaspartof a largeinscription.
signthatcould
resentsa hieroglyphic
be usedat theendof thewordhb
or to writethe
for"ibis")
(Egyptian
("Thoth").
Djehuty
name
Thesacredibis,whichhasnot
beenseenin EgyptsinceaboutI876,
waslargerthanrelatedspeciesnow
livingin centralandsouthernAfrica.
Hugeflocksoncecameto Egyptfrom
Ethiopiato breedin thewetlands
duringtheannualNile flood.The
sacredibishasa whitebodyanda
blackheadandneck.The inlayuses
thewhiteareas
greento represent
becausegreenis thecolorof vegetationandfertility.

blythetitularkingof UpperEgypt,
Painedjem
I, who, ashighpriestof
Amun,hadbeenresponsible
forthe
reburial
of severalroyalmummies.
On Nany'spapyrus,
whichwasfound
rolledup at thesideof hermummy,
theheronappears
flankedbyhername
andwitha groupof solardeities.
3I.

Museum
in thearmlets
of Queen
Hetepheres,
mother
of KingKhufu
(ca.255I-2528 B.C.). Theamuletic
meaning
of theseinsectsis not
known.

Butterflies

Lisht,northerncemetery,DynastyI2-I3,
ca. I970-I640
B.C. Faience.
Left:1.Y6in.
(I-Scm). RogersFundandEdwardS.
HarknessGift,I922 (zZ.I.I394). Upper
right:1.1M6
in. (I.8 cm). RogersFund,I9Is
(IS.3.sI3).
Bottom:1.I)l6in. (2.4 cm). Rogers
Fund,I9IS(IS3 SI2)
30. Heron
WesternThebes,tomb6s (burialof Nany),
Dynasty2I, reignof PsusennesI, I040992 B.C. Drawingon papyrus;
h. of papyrus
(overall)I4%8 in. (37 cm). RogersFund,I930
(30.3.32)

In Egyptheronsareyear-round
residentsin theNile Deltaandalongthe
RedSeacoastandannualwinter
guestsin thewholecountry.The
birdsmigratefromEurope,Asia,and
otherpartsof Africa.Judgingbythe
frequency
withwhichthesemagnificentbirds,withtheirornamental
crests,aredepicted,Egyptians
must
havelovedthem.It is not surprising,
therefore,
to findoneamongthecreaturesdepictedon a funerarypapyrus
suchasthis,foundbytheMuseum's
excavators
in Thebesin thespringof
I929.
The ancientEgyptians
believed
thattheirkingascendedto heaven
in theformof thecrestedbird,and
artistsalsooftendepictedthelegendaryphoenixasa heron.In everydaylifetheseavianexpertsin fishing
wereusedbyfowlersasdecoysto lure
otherbirdsintothenets.
Thepapyrusbelongedto theking's
daughter
Nany,thechantress
ofAmun,
at herdeathanelderlywomanof considerable
girth.Herfatherwasproba-

Butterflies
areamongthemost
charming
of thesmallwingedcreaturesdepictedin Egyptianmarsh
scenes.Theseamuletstypifythe
Egyptianartists'approach
to butterfly
representations.
The artistsalmost
invariably
choseto showthemfrom
above,thecolorfulwingsspreadopen.
Butterflies
werefrequently
usedto
decorate
jewelryin ancientEgypt.
Amongthemostbeautifillexamples
arethedetailedinlaysin theCairo

32.

DragonfliesandDamselflies

Lisht,northerncemetery,DynastyI2-I3,
ca. I970-I640
B.C. Faience.
Upperleft
(piercedtransversely
underwings):1.4 in.
(I.9 cm). RogersFundandEdward
S.
HarknessGift,I922 (22.I.285). Right
(piercedtransversely
underwings):
. 4 in. (I.9 cm). RogersFund,I9IS
(Is.3.sI9).Bottom(piercedvertically):
1.1M6
in. (I.8 cm). RogersFund,I9IS
(IS-3

* SI4)

Althoughrepresentations
of fourwingedinsectsin marshscenesand
amuletshavebeenidentifiedas
bothdragonflies
andgrasshoppers
in
flight,thefirstinterpretation
is more
convincing.Dragonflies
anddamselfliesfeedon themuch-dreaded
mosquitoandits larvae,a servicethe
ancientEgyptians
musthaveappreciated.Thismayaccountin partfortheir
appealasamulets.Thefinestamulets
clearlydefinetheinsect'sfourwings,
asdo twoof these.
31

33. Crocodile
LateIStcenturys.c.-early IStcenturyA.D.
Granite(tailmissing);1.42/2 in. (I08 cm).
The BernardandAudreyAronson
Purchase,
TrustGift,in memoryof her
Charitable
Aronson,I992
belovedhusband,Bernard
(I992.I3)

Crocodylus
crocodile,
Thisgranite
late
in a relatively
sculpted
niloticus,
art,is a fineblend
periodof Egyptian
stylizaandexpressive
of naturalism
onceswamandfed
tion.Crocodiles
onitsbanksin
in theriverandbasked

32

greatnumbers,buttoday,likethe
from
hippo,theyhavedisappeared
Egyptnorthof Aswan,whilein the
newLakeNassertheyseemto be
thrivingagain.Althoughtheancient
somewhatwhimsically
Egyptians
face,"
calledthecrocodile"wrinkle
withoutdoubtthesereptileswerethe
of their
creatures
mostdangerous
countryanda constantthreatto the
peopleandtheirlivestock.Traveling
by boat,crossingthewaterways
withherds,or bathingin theriverput
thelivesof men,women,andanimals

at risk.Beingsucha strongadversary,
played
thecrocodilenot surprisingly
a promlnentroe ln egyptlanmaglc.
An earlyMiddleKingdomstorytells
of a magicianwhoformeda small
crocodileof waxandthrewit intothe
water.Thewaxfigurewastransformed
intoa lifesizereptile,whichdevoured
adulterous
theloverof themagician's
wife.Thedeityrelatedto thecrocodilewasthegodSobek,whowasvenin theFayumregion.
eratedprimarily

34 Hippo
B.C.
MiddleKingdom,ca. I900-I650
1.of base,33X6 in. (8 cm).
Aragonite;
RogersFund,I920 (20.2.25)

3S Hippo
DynDeirel-Bahri,areaof causeways,
astyI8, ca. I473-I425 B.C. Paintingon
x 4 in. (I2 X
limestone;stone41M6
I0.5 cm). RogersFund,I923 (23.3.6)

Hippopotamus
Thehippopotamus,
musthavebeenverycomamphibius,
monin Egyptduringtheearlierperi-

F ,

is.

ods,butman'shuntingpursuitsand
on the
encroachment
ever-increasing
graduhippo'swetlandenvironment
allyreducedthenumberof these
beasts.Thelastwildhipmagnificent
poswereseenin Egyptin the first
halfof thenineteenthcentury.
werewell
TheancientEgyptians
strengthof
awareof thephenomenal
whichartistscapthehippopotamus,
thehugeunsegturedbyemphasizing
mentedbody,asin thisfigurefrom
theMiddleKingdom.Boldstrokesof
thicklyappliedbrownandblackpaint

redon thebellyand
anda dangerous
eyeachievea similareffectin the
sketchfromDynastyI8. The
artist's
aweinspiredbyananimalthatcould
fieldsovernight
a farmer's
devastate
belief
wastemperedbytheEgyptians'
power.Asa
revitalizing
in theanimal's
fromthefertilemud,the
creature
hippoembodieddivinepowersguaranteeingrebirth.Onemightrecognize
aspectof thebeast
thisbenevolent
in thefriendlyfacesof manyhippo
figures.

' *v.S ' !.

t-.,
sW''. s.w

33

M. Davis,I9IS (30.8.86I). Frog:New


B.C. Faience
Kingdom,ca. ISSO-IO79/69
(pierced);1./16 in. (I.I cm). Giftof Helen
MillerGould,I9I0 (IO.I30.I9I8)

36. Turtle
DynastyI2, ca. I99I-I783 B.C. Rockcrystal
inlaidwith amethyst,turquoise,redjasper,
andlapislazuli;1.IlA6in. (4.7 cm).Purchase,
EdwardS. HarknessGift,I926 (26 7tI359)

theAfrican
TotheancientEgyptians,
waterturtle,Trionyxtriunguis,like
mayhaveseemed
manyotheranimals,
Beingan
a dualcharacter.
to possess
deep,theturtle
of theshadowy
animal
andthus
cosmicdanger
embodied
butitspower
annihilated,
wasritually
couldalsobemadetoworkto theadoffevil.
of peoplebywarding
vantage
Thispowermadeturtlespotentamulets,threeofwhichareshownhere(at
Thelarge,widerightandopposite).
served
turtle(opposite)
eyedalabaster
dish,protectasa coverfora cosmetic
ln a slmlaramuetlc
lngt zecontents
function.
*

37. Frogs andToads


Backrowfromleft tO right:Frogon a lotus
pad:DynastyI8, ca. I55O-I300 B.C. Bronze
in. (2 cm). Rogers
(possiblya weight);h. I3M6
Dynasty26Fund,I970 (I970.I97). Toad(?):
susB.C. Lapis lazuli(horizontal
29, 664-380
pensiontubeandverticalpiercefrombelow,
peg[?])ih. I in. (2.s cm).
to accommodate
Giftof DariusOgdenMills,I904 (o4.2.378).

aswellasin thealluIn themarshes,


viallandwhentheannualflood
of
watershadreceded,thousands
theirdeep-throated
frogsappeared,
chorusfillingthenightair,asthey
continueto do todayon thebanksof
assotheNile.The ancientEgyptians
of
ciatedthesemusicalamphibians
thefertilemudwithcreation,birth,
Amuletsin the
Frog:Dynasty26-29, 664-380 B.C. Chlorite andregeneration.
h. I3M6
in. (2 cm). Gift
(piercedhorizontally);
imageof frogsandtoads,suchas
of HelenMillerGould,I9I0 (IO.I30.I928).
these,werepopular."IamtheresurToad(?):Dynasty26-29, 664-380 B.C.
canbe foundwrittenon the
rection"
h. IM6
in.
Faience(piercedhorizontally);
of suchfrogfigureseven
underside
(I.8 cm). Gift of HelenMillerGould,I9I0
fromearlyChristiantimes.
(IO.I30.I92I)
In thesmallamuleticfiguresit
not
alwayseasyto distinguish
is
Frontrow,left tO right:Frog:DynastyI9,
betweentheEgyptianfrog,Rana
ca. I295-II86 B.C. Redporphyry(pierced
1.IS6in. (2 cm). Purchase,
horizontally);
andthetoad,Bufo
mascareniensis,
EdwardS. HarknessGift,I926 (26.7.II43).
or B. viridis,whichhasa
regularis
Treefrog(?):New Kingdom,ca. ISSshorterfaceandknobbyskinon its
B.C. Faience(smallloop in front);
I079/69
back.The treefrog,Hylasavignyi,
1.Y6in. (IS cm). Purchase,EdwardS.
in oneof the
possiblyrepresented
Frog:
HarknessGift,I926 (26.7.I028).
row,
is rarein
the
front
in
amulets
B.C.
DynastyI9-20, ca. I295-I079/69
Egypt.
lotusand
Serpentinite(piercedhorizontally;
birdon base);1.Y6in. (I Scm).Theodore
M. DavisCollection,Bequestof Theodore

W:
L pF

34

in ancientEgyptasblanketson which
offerings
werepresented
or asrugson
whichkingskneltin prayer.
Themat
heredefinesa consecrated
zonein
whichthecosmiceventof thesolar
triumphoverevilis beingmagically
enacted.Theobjectformedpartof a
burialasa guarantee
of rebirth.It
mayhavebeenfoundat Heliopolis,
thecenterof Egypt'ssolarworship.

Thisremarkable
pieceepitomizes
Egyptianbeliefsabouttheuniverse
andthesymbolicroleof certainaniLatet)ynasty I2-I3, ca.I850-I650 B.C.
lionssymbolize
Glazedsteatite;
1.II in. (28 cm).Purchase, mals.Outward-facing
Edward
S. Harkness
Gift,I926
thetwomoundsof theEgyptian
(26.7.I27S)
horizonbetweenwhichthesunrises
in its dailyrenewedactof creation.
According
to Egyptianbeliefsthe
Thiscomplexobjectconsistsof a
tripartite
stafflikebaseandsevenindi- sunhasenemiesandhelpersin the
struggleagainstthenightlychaos.
vidualfiguresof animals.Thesegasan enemy
mentsof thebasearehollow;originally Theturtleoftenappears
butheremayrepresent
there-creative
theywereprobably
joinedbypegs.
powersof thedeep,whilefelines,crocThe beautifully
craftedlittleanimals
odiles,andfrogortoaddeitiesare
areattachedbymeansof pinsthat
knownhelpersof thesun.Baboons
fitholeson theundersides
of the
tendinglampsandbeneficial
eyeemanimalsandin thebase.Previous
publications
haveshownthisrod,the
blems(wedjat)
protectthecornersof
theworld.Thefaceof a leopard(not
best-preserved
exampleof itskind,
withtheanimalsfacingtowardthe
visiblehere)is carvedat eachendof
center.A recentexamination,
therod.
howTherectangular
basetakesthe
ever,revealed
thattheoutlinesof each
animal,clearlypreserved
on thebase, formof a reedmatwithcrossbindings.Suchmatswerecommonlyused
faceoutward.
38. Toads,Frogs,andotherAnimals
on a MagicRod

39. Turtles
Fromleft to right:New Kingdom,
ca. I55O-I300 B.C. Carnelian;
1.Ysin.
(2.2 cm). Gift of HelenMillerGould,I9I0
(IO.I30.2397).
SecondIntermediate
Period,
ca. I65O-I55O B.C. Quartzandhematite;
1.1M6
in. (2 cm). Giftof HelenMiller
Gould,I9I0 (IO.I30.2398).
Dynastyo,
ca. 3I00-2900
B.C. Alabaster;
1.2lS6in.
(6.8 cm). Purchase,
NinaWalker
Wainwright
andBeatriceAppelGifts,I980
(I980.

.k-

3I0)

{ar9,

r.4$

. we,

35

40. Fishin a Canal


II,
DynastyI9, reignof Ramesses
El-Qantir,
ca.I279-I2I3 B.C. Detailof polychrome
faiencetile;h. 7X8 in. (20 cm).Purchase,
Gift,
S. Harkness
Fund,Edward
Rogers
I93S
(35.I.IO4)
I922, I929,
andbyexchange,

causedthepopWhiletheEgyptians
to
ulationsof somewatercreatures
diminishbyhuntingandencroaching
otherspecies
on theirenvironments,
in man-madecanalsand
flourished
ditches.In thescenedeirrigation
pictedon thistile,whatcouldbe an
famfish(Mormyridve
elephant-snout
ily)swimsbetweenthelotusesin a
byotherwaterplants.
canalbordered
Fishof thisfamilylivenearthebottom
waterways
of muddy,slow-moving
andwouldhavebeenrightat homein
an ancientcanal.In typicalEgyptian
combines
manner,therepresentation
a planof thecanalbetweenits two
banksandprofileviewsof theplants
andfish.

36

Thistileis oneof a groupof decoelementsthought


rativearchitectural
II'sprivate
to haveadornedRamesses
in his easternDelta
apartments
Piramesse.
residence,
4I.

MolluskShells

Left:Cowrie.Lisht,northerncemetery,
neartombendosure758,DynastyI2-I3,
B.C. Gold;1. in. (I-Scm).
ca. I990-I65O
Right:
RogersFund,I909 (O9.I80.I200).
Bivalveshell.LishtNorth,tomb754, late
DynastyI2, ca. I85O-I800 B.C. Gold;1.I in.
(2vScm). RogersFund,I907 (07.227.I8)
%8

_r

_w

times,actualmolSinceprehistoric
as
luskshellswereusedbyEgyptians
andwerefashobjectsof adornment
and
ionedintocosmeticcontainers
palettes.Shellformswere
painters'
in goldandsilver.
alsoreproduced
Thistypeof jewelrywasespecially
duringtheMiddleKingprevalent
dom,whenthetwoshellsshownhere
weremade.The smalleroneis a cowrieshell,whilethelargeris an unidentifiedbivalve.Cowriesarethoughtto
havebeenfertilitysymbolsandwere
oftenpartof women'sgirdles(butsee
no. I6, whereleopardheadsareused
insteadof cowries),whereasbivalves
werewornbybothsexes,eitherasa
singlependanton a chainor threador
strungwithothershellsto forma
necklace.

- ,l
hofER

Dish
in the Shapeof a Bolti
(Fish)
42.

Dynasty
I8, reignof
TuthmosisIII,
ca.
I479-I425 B.C. Glazed
steatite;1.7S8 in.
(I8.I
cm).
Giftof JamesDouglas,
I890
(90.6.24)

Fish
ofthegenusTilapiv
(boltiin
Egypt
today)is themostcommon
fish
ofEgypt,
easilyrecognized
byits long
dorsal
fin.Itsmannerof
reproduction,

hatching
itseggsin its mouth,
was
metic
substances.
Thepieceis too
interpreted
bytheancientEgyptians
large,
as
however,
a of spontaneous
to havebeenusedas
kind
generation.
an
ordinary
In
cosmeticpaletteandwas
Egyptian
art,the Tibpivthussymprobably
made
fortempleuse forexbolized
therenewalof life.The
fish
ample,
to
was
anointa cultstatue orfor
also
thoughtto be a companion
a
royal
burial.
of
the
Thecartouche
sungod.
ofTuthmosis
III
below
This
the
lateralfinsuggests
fish-shaped
dishhasthekind
that
the
dish
of
was
a
shallow
gift
to orfromthis
depression
on its reverse
pharaoh.
(below)
thatwasgenerally
usedforthe
preparation
andpresentation
of cos-

37

The

ancienttimes,asnow,the
reliedontheNilefor
Egyptians
The
mostof life'snecessities.
supa continuous
riverprovided
plyofwaterin a landof littlerain.It
sedinutrient-rich
alsodeposited
mentsalongitslengtheachyearfor
ofyears.Itwashere,on
thousands
land,thattheEgyptians
thealluvial
and
livestock;
crops;raised
planted
andcities.
builttheirhouses,villages,
of theAswan
Untiltheerection
withthefamous
dams,culminating
HighDambuiltin theI960S, the
was
landscape
of thealluvial
nature
bytheannual
determined
primarily
Thefloodsoriginated
inundation.
andsouthhighlands
in theEthiopian
monernSudanwiththesummer
started
in
Egypt
soons;inJulytheriver
andthefloodwaters
to risequickly,
landfrom
mostof thealluvial
covered
By
to lateSeptember.
mid-August
whenthe
andNovember,
October
cropscouldbe
hadreceded,
waters
to
fromJanuary
sownforharvesting
a systemof
April.Basinirrigation,
fields,
canalsanddamsenclosing
and
theavailability producincreased
tlvltyorwatertortarmlng.
In

38

Alluvial

Land

andhereandtherein the
margins
anddecidevergreen
Deltasupported
were
that
shrubs
trees
and
uous
byrainsandthe
sporadically
watered
of highground
These"islands"
river.
wereidealforhumansettlements.
of theamountofhuman
Because
lifeonthe
muchoftheanimal
activity,
but
landwasdomesticated,
alluvial
mamsmall
especially
wildcreatures,
birds,andinsects,
mals,amphibians,
with
foundroomto coexisthappily
aniandtheirdomesticated
humans
WhofloodsthefieldsthatRehas
of thealluvial
mals.Thewildanimals
made
landmadetheirnestsanddensin the
Tonourishallwhothirst. . .
lineand
areasabovethehigh-water
Lawful,timely,he comesforth
forfoodin thefloodplain,
foraged
FillingEgypt,SouthandNorth,
thedesert.
andoccasionally
marshes,
As onedrinks,alleyesareon him,
theenof thesemovements,
Because
Whomakeshisbountyoverflow.
described
of someanimals
vironments
land
to thealluvial
hereasbelonging
times,however,agriIn pharaonic
or
the
marsh
of
with
those
overlapped
considerably
were
activities
cultural
true
Thisis especially
steppe-desert.
lessextensivethantheyaretoday.
Egyptians
The
insects.
and
forbirds
Largetractsof the alluviallandwere
tendingtheir
whether
leftunplowed,usedonlyforseasonal themselves,
theirfields,followed
herdsorworking
grazing.In thesouthernregionof
moving
MiddleEgyptduringtheearlyMiddle theriseandfallof theriver,
to highareasduringthe
theiranimals
Kingdom,therewassufficientwoodoutoverthelow
landto providetimberforshipbuild- floodandspreading
duringtherestof theyear.
ground
ing.Thehighgroundat thedesert

societyof pharaIn the agricultural


onicEgypta lowfloodmeantfamine,
andtoo muchwaterbroughtthedanwiththefields
gerof overflooding,
too wetto workduringtheplanting
floodwasgreeted
season.A "perfect"
withgreatjoy."Themeadows[are]
laughingwhentheriverbanksare
flooded,"saysa textin oneof the Old
anda
Kingdompyramidchambers,
popularhymnto theNile god (Hapy)
praiseshimastheone

of shrew,Crociduraflavescensdeltae isoftendepicted
inthepapyrus
thicket
andC.nana,butit isdiffilcult
todeter- pursuing
birds.
Theanimal's
truehabiminewhichisrepresented
inthissmall tats,however,
areshrubby
terrain,
bronze
figure.
rockyhills,andtheopenareasatthe
edgesof Egypt's
cultivated
land.
"Thevoracious"
wastheancient
Ichneumon
killsnakes
andmiceand
Egyptians'
namefortheshrew,
an
are
sometimes
tamed
and
keptfor
44. Ichneumon
epithetthataptlydescribes
thefeedthispurpose.
Thisbronze
ichneumon
PtolemaicPeriod,304-30 B.C. Bronze
inghabitsof thistinyanimal.
In
strides
between
tWO small
seatedcats,
(inscribedon base:"Wadjet
givinglife to
ancient
Egyptian
popular
mythology Pedineith,son of Isemkhebi");
suggestlng
a rellglous
connectlon
1.41/6 in.
theshrewwascloselyassociated
with
todeitiesresiding
inthe"catcity,"
(I2 cm). Gift of DariusOgdenMills,I904
theichneumon.
TheshrewrepreBubastis.
The
goddess
of Bubastis,
(o4O2-6S4)
sentedtheblindaspectof a solardeity
Bastet,
wassometimes
identified
with
whosecomplement,
endowed
with
LiketheAfrican
wildcat
andthe
Wadjet,
goddess
of Lower
Egypt,to
keeneyesight,
wasunderstood
to be
genet,theEgyptian
mongoose,
Hewpes- whomtheinscription
onthebaseof
theichneumon.
Egypthastwospecies tesichneumon,
alsocalledpharaohXs
rat, theichneumon
figureis addressed.
43. Shrew

PtolemaicPeriod,304-30 B.C. Bronze;


1.3S8in. (8 cm). Giftof DariusOgden
Mills,I904 (o4.2.465)

/jj

4Se

Cat

Saqqara,
PtolemaicPeriod,304-30 B.C.
Bronze(hollow,castin two parts);h. II in.
(28cm). HarrisBrisbaneDick Fund,I956
(56.I6.I)

TheearliestEgyptiancatswerewild
predators
thatroamedthesteppesand
marshes(no.I7). In therefinedurban
cultureof theNewKingdomcatsbecameincreasingly
attachedto humans,
whoprobably
firstappreciated
their
mouse-hunting
skillsbutsooncameto
enjoythesecreatures
aspleasantcompanionsaroundthehouse.Egyptian
housecatswereconsiderably
larger
thanmoderndomesticated
cats,which
zoologistsbelieveoriginated
in the
ancientNearEast.
Of thesethreecatfigures,thetwo
fromtheLatePeriodconveythecat's
companionable,
attractive
personality.
ThelargedignifiedPtolemaic
figurea masterpiece
of bronzecasting- once
servedasa container
fora catmummy.
Burialsof mummified
catswerepart
of ritualsperformed
in honorof the
goddessBastet.Allthreeanimalsare
characterized
assacredby thejewelry
incisedorcarvedaroundtheirnecks.
Thelargebronzecatandthesmall
faienceonewearelaborate
collarswith
pendantsin theshapeof a beneficial
eyeemblem,wedjat,
whilethesmall
bronzecat'swedjat
pendanthangs
froma simplechain.Thelargecat's
rightearis piercedto holda gold
ring,nowlost.

46.

Cat

LatePeriod,Dynasty26-29, 664-380 B.C.


Bronze(solidcast);1.Il3M6
in. (4.7 cm). Gift
of J. Lionberger
Davis,I966 (66.I23.2)

47

Cat

LatePeriod,Dynasty26-29, 664-380 B.C.


Faience;h. IM6
in. (2.3 cm). Bequestof Mary
AnnaPalmerDraper,I9IS (I5.43.26)
41

48. CobraHeads
Left:LateDynastyI8, ca.I400-I300
B.C.
Faience;
1.4g4 in. (I0.8 cm).Giftof Helen
MillerGould,I9I0 (IO.I30.2S84). Right:
Thebes,Valleyof theKings,tombof
Amenhotep
III,Dynasty
I8, ca.I3S3
B.C.
Faience;
1.2S6 in. (S 3 cm).Purchase,
Edward
S. Harkness
Gift,I926 (26.7.II22)

In thetombof Tutankhamun
a gilded
woodenshrineshieldedthecanopic
chestcontaining
theking'sorgans.The

shrinestoodundera protective
canopy,alsoof gildedwood,guardedby
fourfiguresof goddesses.
Bothcanopy
andshrineweresurmounted
bycavettocornicesdecorated
withcontinuous friezesof cobrafigures.
Thecobras
wereof gildedwoodinlaidwithrichly
coloredglassandfaience.Soliddark
bluesnakeheadswerefastenedto the
tongue-shaped
upperendsof thecobra
bodies(seedrawingbelow).The
monumentstruckHowardCarter,

excavator
of Tutankhamun's
tomb,as
"solovelythatit madeonegaspwith
wonderandadmiration."
Thesetwocobraheadsof shinyblue
faiencewereoriginally
partof similar
tombfurniture.
Thesmallerof thetwo
headswasfoundin thetombof Tutankhamun's
ancestor
AmenhotepIII.
It indicatesthatAmenhotep's
burial
onceboastedan equallystunning
monument.

Detailfroma cobrafriezecrowningthe
canopicshrineof KingTutankhamun
(ca.I327 B.C.). Drawingby BarryGirsh

42

49. Cobraon PharaohXs


Forehead
Deirel-Bahri,
templeof Mentuhotep
II,
Dynasty
II, latereign
of Mentuhotep
II,
ca.2040-20I0
B.C. Painted
limestone;
stoneh. 9%2 in. (24 cm).Giftof Egypt
Exploration
Fund,I906 (06.I23I.37)

Cobras,thebestknownof Egypt's
manysnakes,arealsoamongthemost
impressive.
Theirraisedthreatposture
andthewaysomeof thespeciesspit
venomarethoroughly
intimidating.
TheancientEgyptians
wereso fascinatedbythesebehaviors
thatthey
adoptedthecobraasa mythicalsnake.
The uraeus,asit wascalledin Greek,
saton theforeheads
of pharaohs
and
guardedtheroofsof holyshrineswith
.

awe-lnsplrlng

aggresslveness.

Thisfragment
fromthemortuary
templeof KingMentuhotep
II shows
theuraeusabovethepharaoWs
foreheadtwistingitsbodyaroundthe
diademasif it wereliving.Although
onlyoneEgyptiancobraspecies,Naja
nigricollis,
ratherthanthemorecommonN. haje,actuallyspits,boththis
behavior
andthethreatposturewere
ascribed
to themythicaluraeus.
A MiddleKingdomtaleconveys
theterrorEgyptians
feltwhenconfrontedbydangerous
snakes.According to the story,a sailorwasstranded
on a desertedisland.Aftereatinghis
fillof fishandvegetables,
whichwere
plentifulthere,he madeanofferingof
thanksto thegodsforhissurvival.
Justthen,ashe narrates,
he hearda
"thundering
noiseandthought,'Itis
thesea.'Treessplintered,
theground
trembled.
Uncovering
myface,I found
it wasa snakethatwascoming.He
wasof thirtycubits[aboutS feet];
hisbeardwasovertwocubits[3M2
feet]
long.His bodywasoverlaid
with
gold;hiseyebrows
wereof reallapis
lazuli.He wasbentup in front.... I
wason mybellybeforehim."The
storyendshappily,however,
withthe
snakehelpingthesailortO gethome.

''--

50. Falcon
Probably
fromHeliopolis,
Dynasty
30,
reignof Nectanebo
II,360-343 B.C.
Graywacke
(inscribed
onthebasewiththe
king'snames);
h. 28%8 in. (72 cm).Rogers
Fund,I934 (34-2-I)

TheancientEgyptians
believedtheir
kingwasan incarnation
of thesky
god,Horus,whoappeared
asa falcon.
Oneof themostpotentimages
expressing
thisbeliefis thisfalcon
statueof KingNectaneboII,withits
intensefacialexpression
andvicious
claws.In theirrepresentations
of
HorusEgyptian
artistsdepicteda generalized
falcon,ratherthananyone
particular
species,eventhoughEgypt
is hometo several.
The Lannerfalcon,
Falcobiarmicus,
andtheperegrine,
E peregrinus,
forexample,
stillnest
andbreedin thelimestonecliffsat the
desertmarginandin theruinsand
pyramids.
Thebirdscanbe seenrisingon updrafts
of hot desertair
andperforming
amazingaerobatics.
Thesculpture
followstheLate
Periodtraditionof animalimagesin
hardstone
(seeno. 5)withremarkably
naturalistic
detailsin headandfeet,

whilethebodyandwingsaresimplifiedrenderings
of thebird'snatural
features.
The imageof a birdand
royalfiguretogethercanbe readasa
rebusforNakhthorheb,
theEgyptian
formof oneof theking'snames:NakAt
fromthescimitarthekingholds;hor,
thebird;andheb(thefeast),thesign
in theking'srighthand.
SI. Swallow
PtolemaicPeriod,304-30 B.C. Limestone;
h. 31/G in. (9.4 cm). RogersFund,I907
(07.228.g)

ThelinearoasisalongtheNile thatis
Egypthasalwayshada richvarietyof
smallbirds,includingswallows.Migratoryswallows
fromnorthern
climes
passthroughEgyptduringthespring
andfall,whereasotherspeciesare
year-round
residents.
Theswallow's
migratory
habitswerecarefully
observed
by theancientEgyptians
andinterpreted
asa signof regeneration.In anancientlovepoemthe
swallow,
whoheraldsthemorning,is
encountered
bya youngwomanreturningfroma trystwithherlover:

Thevoiceof theswallowis speaking.


It says:
Daybreaks,
whatis yourpath?
[Thegirlanswers:]
Don't,littlebird!
Areyouscoldingme?
I foundmyloveron hisbed,
Andmyheartwassweetto excess.

In Egyptianarttheindividual
membersof theswallowfamilywere
not differentiated.
Thislimestone
reliefpresentsa trulylovableimageof
thebird,standingon well-articulated
legswithanexpression
thatis both
comicalanddignified.Thepiecebelongsto a groupof reliefsandsculpturesthathaveoftenbeenidentified
assculptors'
modelsbecausemany
of themincludegridlinesandother
tracesof theartist's
technique.
The
raisedangleplatein theupperleft
corner,forexample,mightbe an item
of thiskind.
In recenttimes,however,
most
scholarspreferto interpret
theseobjectsasex-votos,orvotiveobjects,and
in thiscase,theimageof theswallow
mighthavebeendedicatedto thesun
godorthegoddessIsis.Thebirdis
closelyconnectedwithbothdeities.
45

52.

VultureandCobra

PtolemaicPeriod,304-30 B.C. Limestonerelief;h. 6Ysin. (I7vScm). Giftof


J. PierpontMorgan,I9II (II.Ii5.I2)

Likethefalcon,thevulture,Egypt's
largestbird,liveshighin thelimestonecliffsandsoarsoverthedesert
andalluviallandin searchof food.
Ancientartistsdepictedboththegrifand,lessoften,
finvulture,Gypsfillaus,
trv, Aegypius
the lappet-facedvulture
of Mut,godasincarnations
cheliotus,
dessandconsortof Amun,and
Nekhbet,goddessof theroyalcrown
head
of UpperEgypt.Thevulture's
forthe
andwingsservedasinspiration
of Egyptianqueens,and
headdress
imagesof themajesticbirdadorned
theceilingsof templesandpalaces.
In thisreliefNekhbetasa griff^ln
vultureis theheraldicfigureof Upper
Egypt,leadingthecobra,whichrepresentsLowerEgypt.Thevultureand
theserpentbothappearto standon
46

wickerbaskets,butthisshouldnot be
The basketsarehierotakenliterally.
and
or "lady,"
glyphicsignsfor"lord"
the
identifies
thewholeconfiguration
as neby,the"twoladies."
twocreatures
The ladiesin questionarethetitular
goddessesof UpperandLowerEgypt,
whosenamesarepartof everypharaolfsname.Thisis anotherexample
of Ptolemaicreliefplaquesthatserved
modelsorasvotives
eitherassculptors'
(seeno. SI). Thisplaqueis alsocarved

wheretheimageof a
on thereverse,
falconappears.

53 Hoopoe
on
DynastyI9, ca.I295-II86 B.C. Drawing
I4S8 in. (36 cm).Gift
papyrus;
h. of papyrus
I93s(35.9.I9)
of Edward
S. Harkness,

The Egyptianhoopoe,Upupv epops,


andbeauwithits colorfulfeathering
tifulheadcrest,is stillcommonin
Egypt.In theOldKingdomhoopoes
werecaughtto be petsforchildren.In
thepapyrusdrawingthebirdsitsatop
plantandis idena stylizedpapyrus(?)
textas "he
tifiedin theaccompanying
whosemagicis hidden."Thisis an
if NineteenthDynasty
aptdescription
Egyptfollowedthepracticereported
frommuchlatertimes,whenpartsof
thebird'sbody theheart,head,and
blood playeda rolein magicpractices(thirdto eighthcenturyA.D.).

54. Bee
LishtSouth,pyramidtempleof SenwosretI,
DynastyI2, reignof SenwosretI, ca. I97II926 B.C. Detailfroma paintedlimestone
relief;h. of bee 6S4 in. (I6 cm). Rogers
Fund,I909 (09.I80.64)

Thisbeautifulcarvedimageof a bee
functionedasa hieroglyphic
ideogram
for"thekingof LowerEgypt."Originally,it waspartof a monumental
inscription
adorning
thepyramid
temple
of KingSenwosret
I. TheEgyptian
honeybee,Apismellificafasciatv,was
domesticated
in EarlyDynastictimes,
if not before.Beeswereusuallykept
in terracotta
pipesthatservedas beehives,whichwerestackedin rowsone
abovetheother.Afterdrivingout the
beeswithsmoke,muchasbeekeepers
do today,thefarmers
removedthe
honeycombs
andextracted
thehoney,
which,alongwithdatemash,wasthe
malnsweetener
ln anclenttlmes.
Beeswax
wasalsoan important
sub.

in thisreliefplaque,is a residentof
Egypt.It nestsin trees,buildings,and
ruinsandhuntsbynight.Thebird's
mostcnaracterlstlc
teature,ltSlmpressivefacialdisk,invariably
prompted
Egyptianartiststo choosea frontal
viewwhenrepresenting
it. Therelief
belongsto thesamegroupof objects
astheswallowreliefandthevulture
andcobrapiece(nos.Stand52). As is
thecasefortherestof thegroup,its
interpretation
is stillunderdiscussion.
Isit a votiveobjectora sculptor's
model?Asan ex-voto,theimageof an
owlmightappropriately
havebeen
dedicated
to a solardeity.Owls,called
"keen-sighted
hunters,"
werealso
believedto be birdsof mourningand
death.Asa model,thisreliefdemonstratesthemostintricatepartof the
letterm (acompleteowl),andin fact
owlsarerarelydepictedin Egyptian
artexceptasthishieroglyphic
sign.
.

stance,
widelyusedinadhesives,
metalcasting,
andotherprocesses.
55.BarnOwl
PtolemaicPeriod,304-30 B.C. Limestone
relief;h. 4/6 in. (I0.4 cm). RogersFund,
I907

(07.228tII)

Thebarnowl,TytovIba,whosehead
isdepicted
withunforgettable
clarity

47

56. Fly
Dynasty26-29, 664-380 B.C. Faience(?);
of MaryAnna
. 7/6 in. (I.2 cm).Bequest
(I5.43.47)
I9I5
Draper,
Palmer

s7 Flies
Left:DynastyI3-I7, ca.I783-I550 B.C.
Edward
Ivory;1.27/6 in. (6.3 cm).Purchase,
Gift,I926 (26.7.I285). Right:
S. Harkness
EarlyDynastyI8, ca.I550-I525 B.C. Glazed
forQueen
on underside
steatite(inscribed
1. in. (I.3 cm).Giftof Helen
Ahhotep);
MillerGould,I9I0 (IO.I30.I68)
/2

58. MosquitoDeity
Dynasty26-29, 664-380 B.C. Green-and1.I%6 in. (3 cm).Gift
jasper;
whitebanded
I9 5 5 (55.I72)
of CyrilAldred,

The flywhisksthatEgyptianartists
and
depictedin thehandsof pharaohs
of how
noblesarepotentreminders
irksomethehostsof flieswerein anclentEgypt.TheanclentEgyptlans,
seemedto haveheldfliesin
however,
becauseof
highesteem,presumably
thisinsect'spowersof fastreaction
insistentpresence.
andindomitable,
I8 (ca.I550in Dynasty
Beginning
oftenmadeof
pendants,
fly
I295 B.C.),
gold,weregivenby thekingasmilitaryawardsforvalor,andtheamulets
of the
shownmaywellbe reminders
Theglazed
officialgold"medals."
steatiteflyis inscribedon theundersidewiththenameof QueenAhhotep,
motherof kingsKamoseandAhmose,
.

48

whofinallydefeatedtheHyksos.
flyamuletsmayalsohaveserved
Earlier
to wardoff theseannoyinginsects.
in these
Theactualfliesrepresented
amuletsaredifficult,if not impossible,to identifybyspecies.Among
theinsectsshownhere,thesteatite
andfaiencepiecesareunmistakably
flies,andthesomewhatlargerivory
pieceseemsto be a stylizedfly,probablya replicaof thegoldenaward
jasper
pieces.Thegreen-and-white
insectlooksmorelikea mosquito
its identity,this
thana fly.Whatever
jasperamulethasa falconheadand
wearsthedoublecrownof Upper
andLowerEgypt.In thisguisetheinsecthasbecomea deitywithroyal
attributes.
Evidenceof mosquitonetsbeing
usedstronglysuggeststhatmosquitoes
wereasmucha nuisancein theancient
worldastheycanbe today.TheGreek
whotraveledin
writerHerodotus,
Egyptin about445-440B.C., reported
thatpeopleusedfishingnetsagainst
whilein UpperEgypt
mosquitoes,
theyslepton hightowers(perhaps
meaningthe roofsof multistory
houses).An actualframeto supporta
finelinennettingovera bed,made
longbeforethetimeof Herodotus,
wasfoundwiththeburialequipment
motherof
of QueenHetepheres,
Khufu(ca.255I-2528 B.C.).

Thisrathersinisterhornedcreature
amulets,whichcouldthusbe usedas
the rhinoceros
seals.To be readilyandquiteliterally seemsto represent
I3,
I2-earlyDynasty
Left:LateDynasty
whichis
Orystes
nascicarnis,
beetle,
perthese
were
such
as
scarabs
at
hand,
steatite
(scroll
B.C.
Glazed
ca.I800-I750
1.Y8
in. (2.2 cm).
motifonunderside);
region.
andfittedasbezels nativeto theMediterranean
foratedhorizontally
Gift,I926
S. Harkness
Edward
Purchase,
that
Thesmallbronzesarcophagus
intoringsof goldorotherprecious
I9, ca.I295Right:Dynasty
(26.7.7I3).
it guardsoncehelda beetlemummy,
metals.
inscripsteatite(enigmatic
II86 B.C. Glazed
of the same
thoughnot necessarily
1.t3/l6in. (I.7 cm).
tiononunderside);
as
beetles,
In
embalming
species.
Gift,I926
S. Harkness
Edward
Purchase,
the
in all animalmummification,
60. Beetle
(26.7.352)
and
Late
Period
of
the
Egyptians
PtolemaicPeriod,304-30 B.C. Bronze;
PtolemaicandRomantimesgave
of thescarab,ScaraThe importance
h. 23/8
in. (6 cm). Purchase,EdwardS.
tangibleformto theirbeliefthatall
HarknessGift,I926 (26.7.855)
re.1baeussacer,ln anclent egyptlan
animals,largeandsmall,wereincargionwasbasedon carefulobservation
nationsof thedivine.Religioustexts
The
of its behavior.
andinterpretation
u
v r:
fromother
fromEgyptandparallels
scarabbeetlerollsanimaldungto
indicate
Africancultures,moreover,
formballsthatareoftenmanytimes
asinbe
understood
could
that
insects
itssize.Thescarabbothfeedsfrom
soul,"meanan "external
corporating
theseballsandlayseggsin them.For
ingthoseinnerforcesof humansand
theimageof thedung
theEgyptians
deitiesthatarecapableof leavingthe
stronghind
ballmovedbythescarab's
body.In an OldKingdomtext,for
fortherising
legsbecamea metaphor
example,thekingwassaidto ascend
sun,andthebeetlewasadoptedas
to heavenin theformof a grasshopper.
one of the mostpotentsymbolsof
59. Scarabs

TN

.-

#,

i 5

. 0 ;<;:

resurrectlon.

Startingin theearlyMiddleKingthe
domandcontinuingthroughout
history,imageswere
restof pharaonic
of scarab
intotheundersides
engraved
49

50

6I.

Stablewith FattenedLonghorns

Western
Thebes,tombof Meketra,
early
DynastyI2, ca.I990-I980
B.C. Gessoed
and
painted
wood;1.2852 in. (72.scm).Rogers
FundandEdward
S. Harkness
Gift,I920
(20.3.9)

TheanclentEgyptlans
wereverysuccessfulcattlebreeders.
In theirsociety
andeconomycattleplayedan importantrole,andnumerous
varieties
were
raised.Somewerelonghornedand
longlegged;theygrazedin theopen
countryin herdscomprising
many
hundreds
of animalsand,underthe
careof attentiveherdsmen,
were
movedfromplaceto placeaccording
to a seasonalschedule.Othershad
longhornsandshortlegs;oftencastrated,theywereraisedandfattened
in stables.Therewerealsovarieties
withshorthorns,no horns,orartificiallydeformedhorns,aswellaszebu,
anAsiaticox imported
fromtheLevant
duringDynastyI8 (ca.I55O-I295 B.C.).
In thisminiature
representation
of
a stable,twocompartments
areconnectedbya door.In thebackroom,
whichin reallifeprobably
hada roof,
threecattleanda calf(orhornless
*

cow)arefeedingfroma longtrough,
whilein theothercompartment,
mostlikelyanopencourtyard,
two
cattlearefedfroma heapof fodder.A
guard,armedwitha spear,sitsbythe
entranceto thecourtyard.
The black,
brown,andspottedcattlearevery
sturdilybuiltandclearlyfattened.
Thestablewasoneof twenty-two
miniatures
foundwithtwolargestatuesof womenin a smallchambercut
intotherockin thetombof thechancellorMeketra
atThebes(Luxor).
Theyhadbeenuntouchedsincethe
dayof theirburial."Thebeamof light
shotintoa littleworldof fourthousandyearsago,"wroteMuseumcurator
HerbertE.Winlock,whodiscovered
thiscachein oneof archaeology's
most
memorable
moments.

62. FarmerPlowing
EarlyDynasty
I2, ca.I990-I900
B.C.
Painted
wood;1.I952 in. (49-S cm).Giftof
Valdemar
Hammer
Jr.,in memory
of his
father,
I936 (36.S)

whichis pulledby twoveryfriendly


lookingoxen.Thefarmer's
feethave
sunkintothemuddyearth,whichis
probably
stillwaterlogged
fromthe
annualinundation,
buttheanimals
seemto be on dryerground.Toown
cattlewasa signof highstandingfora
peasantin ancientEgypt;plowoxen
usuallyhadto be rentedfroma large
stateor templeinstitution.Evenif the
oxenwerenot actuallyownedbythe
plowman,however,
an exceptionally
strongbondcouldexistbetweenman
andanimals.A taleof theNewKingdomtellsof a youngmanwhoworked
on hisolderbrother's
farmandlived
so closelywiththecattlethathe could
understand
theirlanguage.
When
theolderbrothersetout to killthe
younger,becausetheelder'swifeasthewifeof Potiphar hadaccused
theyoungerbrother
of tryingto seduce
her,thecattlewarnedhimin timefor
himto escape.

Thepeasanttrudgesbehindthetraditionalhook-shaped
plowof Egypt,
51

bullsarehighlyagitated;
theirtailsare
tensely
curved,
they
are
defecating,
DynastyI9-20, ca.I295-I070 B.C. Painting
andthevisibleeyeof theattacking
onlimestone;
stone7g4 X 49%6 in. (I8.5 X
II.5 cm).Rogers
Fund,I924 (24.2.27)
bullisturnedupward.
Wildbullsstillroamed
themargins
Byallowingbullsto fight,Egyptian
of theDeltain theNewKingdom,
herdsmencoulddetermine
whichwas andKingRamesses
III(ca.II84thestrongerandconsequently
more
II53 B.C.)
felledsomeenormous
indisuitableforbreeding.Bullsfighting,
viduals
in a reedthicket,
according
to
therefore,
wasa frequentoccurrence a depiction
onthepylonofhismortuamongtheherds.ForEgyptianartists arytempleatMedinet
Habu,Thebes.
63. FightingBulls

the fightswereinteresting
subjects.In
thistrialsketch,thedraftsman
captureda momentof highdrama.One
of thepowerfulbeastshasthrownthe
otherontoits frontlegsto attackits
abdomenwithpointedhorns.Both

52

64.

RestingCattle

Dynasty26-29, 664-380 B.C. Gold;


1.(each)/2 in. (I.25 cm).TheodoreM. Davis
Collection,Bequestof TheodoreM. Davis,
I9I5

(30.8.405,

.406)

Thesesmallshort-horned
bovines
seemto be resting,chewingtheircud.
Thehollowfiguresweremadebyhammeringsheetsof goldto formtheanimals'bodies,addingthehornsand
feet,andfusingthewholeontosmall
ovalbaseswithnotchededges.As
twoof sevencelestialcowswhoprovidednourishment
forthedeceased
in
the beyond,thelittleanimalsmay
havebeenpartof a richperson's
burial
equipment,
adorning
a pieceof jewelry
or anelaborate
vessel.

65. Bllll's Leg

66. Apis Bllll

Abydos,DynastyI-2, ca. 2960-2649


B.C.
Ivory;h. 6/2 in. (I6.Scm);RogersFund,

Dynasty26-29, 664-380 B.C. Ivory(base


modern);h. 2X6 in. (6.I cm). Giftof
J. PierpontMorgan,I9I7 (I7.I90.62)

I906

(06.II62.I)

In EarlyDynasticEgyptlowbedsand
stools,likeotherfurniture
of high
quality,includedivorypartssuchas
bulls'legs.Usingananimal's
legfor
thelegof a pieceof furniture
hadreliglOUS
slgnltlcance
relatlngto thegreat
strengthandgenerative
powerof the
animal.Thebullwasalsoa symbol
fortheEgyptianking,especially
in
theEarlyDynasticperiod,androyal
furniture
maywellhavebeenthefirst
to be fittedoutwithsuchlegs.
In makingsetsof legs,Egyptian
artistsalwaysdistinguished
hindand
forelegs,oftenalsotherightandleft,
andpositionedthemon thepieceof
furnitureaccordingly.
Asseenhere,
thelegshadtenonson top thatfit
intothehorizontal
frameof thebedor
stool.Leatherthongswerethreaded
throughthetwoholesbelowthetenon
to securethelegto theframe.Allfurniturelegsin bull's-leg
shapeterminatedin beadedcylinders
thatkept
thetenderhoovesoffthe dirtyfloor.
ThisleRfrontlegfroma bedor
stoolis theworkof a masterjoiner
whowasalsoanaccomplished
sculptor.Theanimal's
musculature
and
.

Oneof themostimportant
animal
deitiesof ancientEgyptwasthe
sacredApisbull,whoseworshipis
attestedfromDynastyI. Nearthe
Ptahtempleat Memphis,Egypt'sold
capital,a livingrepresentative
of the
Apisbullwasstabled.He wasparaded
out at testlveoccaslonsto partlclpate
in ceremonies
of fertilityandregeneration.Thebullthatplayedthisimportantrolewasselectedfordisplaying
colorpatterns,
suchasa whitetriangle
on theforehead
andblackpatches
resembling
wingedbirdson thebody.
In theivoryfigurethewhitetriangleis
indicatedbya sunkenareaon the
head,whileengravings
of a vulture
withwingsspreadanda wingedscarab
flankanelaborate
blanketon theback.
WhenApisbullsdied,theywere
andburiedwithallhonors.
skinaredelicately
differentiated
from embalmed
Beginning
withthereignof King
thesmoothhoof,andthetautveins
areexpressive
enoughto evokethrough AmenhotepIIIin DynastyI8, the
thisbodyparttheimageof theentire placeof Apisburialswasa hugeand
growingunderground
systemof
strong,highlytensedanimal.Theleg
chambers
calledtheSerapeum
in the
maywellhavebeenpartof a king's
Memphitenecropolis,
Saqqara.
The
bedorchairbecauseit wasfoundat
mothers
of
Apis
bulls
had
their
own
Abydosin oneof thetombsof the
cultandburialplace.
firstkingsof Egypt.
r

..

67. Donkey
Deirel-Bahri,areaof causeways,
DynastyI8,
ca. I473-I425 B.C. Drawingon limestone;
drawing2X6 X 2%8in. (6.3 X 6.7 cm). Rogers
Fund,I923 (23.3.8)

Sinceat leastthefourthmillennium
B.C., ever-patient
donkeyshavecarriedheavyloadsandhelpedfarmers
by treadingseedsintothegroundand
threshinggrain.The artistwhocreatedthissmallcharacter
studyovera
proportional
gridon a limestonechip
hascapturedtheexpression
of a typicallyobstinatedonkey.Aroundthe
donkey's
neckis a redstripedband.An
animalwithblackstripedfur(acator
leopard?)
wasdrawnbelowthedonkey'sheadto theright,butthemain
portionof thiscreature
is nowbroken
oS. It appears
thatthesketchcomes
froma largerimageillustrating
a fable
involvinganassanda feline.Onesuch
storyfromthesecondcenturyA.D. tells
of a lionwhowantsto findout the
natureof man.Amongotheranimals,
thelionencounters
a horseanddonkeythataretetheredto a chariot.The
lionasks,"Whodidthisto you?"They
answer,"Ourlord,man,hasdone
it.... Thereis nothingmorecunning
54

thanman."Wilddonkeyswerestill
instancesof camelboneshavebeen
livingin theEgyptiandesertduring
recorded,
althoughsomearedoubtful
thefirstpartof thenineteenth
century. asto dateandidentification,
and
therearea fewfigurinesandfigure
vesselsof camelspreserved
from
68. Headof a Camel
pharaonic
times.Byandlarge,howThebes,LowerAsasifcemeteryarea,
ever,thecamelremained
an oddityin
PtolemaicPeriod,304-30 B.C. or later.
Egyptianeyes.It wasonlywiththe
Terracotta
withwhiteslip;h. IlS6in. (Scm).
invasionof theAssyrian
armyin the
RogersFund,I932(32.3.343)
seventhcenturyB.C. thatpeoplein the
The ancientEgyptians
knewabout
Nilevalleymetthecamelasa domestheexistenceof thedromedary
(or
ticatedbeastof burden.Ittookanother
one-humped)
camel,Camelus
drome- fourcenturies
to introduce
thedomesdarius,at leastsinceEarlyDynastic
ticatedcamelto Egypt,whereit was
tlmes..nvarlous^gyptlansltesrare
destinedto becomeoneof thecountry'smostfamiliar
sights.Onlyrecently
haveautomobiles
andfarmmachines
begunto supersede
theanimal.
Thissmallterracotta
headis unpretentious
butskillfullymodeled.It
is thelivingimageof a camel,head
helddisdainfully
upright,theprotrudingeyesgazingintothefardistance,whilethesoftmuzzleseemstO
be caughtin a chewingmotion.It
mightbe a portraitof oneof the
camelsof today,whichcanbe seen
liftingtheirheadsoverfarmhouse
wallsneartheexactspotwherethis
littleterracotta
piecewasfoundby
theMuseum's
excavators
in I9IS-I6.
*

horseformedthetop of a comb,its
teethnowmostlymissing.Thishorse
DynastyI9, possiblyreignof RamessesII,
is somewhatnervously
feedingfroma
ca. I279-I2I3 B.C. Ivory;w. I%8 in. (3-5 cm).
Purchase,EdwardS. HarknessGift,I926
trough.In thedrawing,a fewmas(26.7.I290)
terlybrushlinescapturean elegant,
well-groomed
horsewearinga bridle,
70.
Horse
rubbingitsleftforelegplayfully
with
Thebes,tombof Nespekashuty,
Dynasty26,
its gracefulmuzzle.Themotifis
664-6I0
B.C. Drawing
on limestone;
drawing
knownfroma lateDynastyI8 relief
4 X 3 in. (I0.2 X 7.6 cm). RogersFund,I923
fromAmarna.It is possiblethatthis
(23.3.33)
sketchis a copyof a NewKingdom
representation
thatinterested
thispar7I.
Horse
ticular
artist
at
a
time
when
many
Thebes,DynastyI8, ca. I400 B.C. Tinted
OldandNew Kingdomworksof art
ivory,glass(?)inlayin lefteye;1.SYg
in.
were
copiedforreusein Dynasty26
(IScm). Purchase,EdwardS. Harkness
tombs.
Gift,I926 (26-7-I293)
Thelargerivoryhorse,whichonce
adorneda whiphandle,is shownin
Thehorseis a relative
latecomer
to the
Egyptian
menagerie.
Theearliest
whatscholarscalltheflyinggallop.Its
skeleshinycoatis beautifully
rendered
with
tonfoundin theNilevalleymaydate
to theseventeenth
centuryB.C. In
a lightbrowntint;themane,tail,
ancientliterature
andreliefart,horses
muzzle,andlowerlegs,aswellasa
firstappeared
in connectionwiththe
stripeon theback,arein darkbrown.
expulsionof theAsiaticrulers,the
Thelefteyestill retainsits glassy
inlay,whichbeautifully
captures
its
andanefflcientvehicleforhunting.
Hyksos,whichoccurred
fromthelate
Horseback
riding,however,
remained shiningeagerness.
Seventeenth
to theearlyEighteenth
Theanimal's
head
presses
againstitscurvedneck,a pose
Dynasty(ca.ISSo B.C.). Afterthe dea rarityuntilPtolemaic
times.
Thesethreerepresentations
capture oftenusedin depictionsof horsesin
featof the Hyksosthehorse-drawn
chariotbecamethe predominant
thetraitstheancientEgyptians
most
the mid-Eighteenth
Dynasty.
fightingmachineof Egypt's
military, valuedin a horse:speed,elegance,
andgoodmanners.
Thesmallivory
theofficialconveyance
of herkings,
69. Horse

55

ram,withits brilThismagnificent
glaze,wasmade
liantblue-and-green
art.It is
latein thehistoryof Egyptian
saidto havebeenfoundin thecapitalof theFayumoasis,Crocodilopolis
togetherwith
(Medinetel-Fayum),
twobeautifulfaiencemasksin Roman
style.Allthreeobjectsweremostprobablyvotivesto a sanctuary.
The ramcanbe identifiedas Ovis
basedon the foraegyptiaca,
platyura
hornsandthickfleece.
ward-bending
into
firstintroduced
was
species
The
EgyptfromwesternAsiaaround2000
and
B.C. Duringthe Old Kingdom
earlier,anothersheepspecies,O.
waslivingin
palaeoaegyptiaca,
Iongipes
theNilevalley.Thisspecieshadlong,
horns(seefig.2)
spiraling
horizontally
andlentitspowerfulshapeto a numberof Egyptiangods,thecreatorgod,
Khnum,beingperhapsthe mostimbecause0.
portantof them.Probably
hadlongerfleece,it quickly
platyura
afterthebegin0. Iongipes
superseded
ningof theMiddleKingdom.
rambecameoneof
Theplatyura
themostsacredanimalsin Egypt
withthegod
throughitsassociation
Amun,who,asAmun-Re,wasthe
supremedeityduringthe
country's
This
New Kingdomandafterward.
faienceramis bendingitS headover
whatat firstglanceseemsto be a
manger,buton closerinspectionis
actuallya lotusblossom.Vesselsin
74. Ram
usedto
flowerformwerefrequently
Medinetel-Fayum,RomanImperialPeriod,
presentofferingsto gods.Amun
in.
h. 41M6
2ndcenturyA.D. Faience;
probably
is thusthetrue
anoffiering
receiving
EdwardS. HarknessGift,
(I2cm). Purchase,
subjectof thisfaiencemasterpiece.
I9 26 (26 .7.IOI9)

asa
skygoddessNut wasdescribed
werethestars.The
sowwhosechildren
factthatsowsareknownto eattheir
asa parallel
pigletswasunderstood
of stars.
to theriseanddisappearance
here
Amuletsliketheoneillustrated
of thegreat
wererepresentations
mothergoddessandguaranteed
fertility.
Thelittlewoodenfigureof a young
made.Its
pigis simplybutcarefully
72. Sow Amulet
roundhead,snubnose,andtheblack
Dynasty26-29, 664-380 B.C. Faience;
stripesalongits backarethe unmish. I%6 in. (3 cm).GiftofJ. Pierpont
of thesuckling
takablecharacteristics
I9I7 (I7-I94-2243)
Morgan,
care.
pig,objectof theherdsman's
Thefigurewasfoundat themouthof
tombshaftof Yuy,a
theplundered
greatmanandvizier,wholivedat the
endof theMiddleKingdom.It is
to explainthepig'spresence
diffilcult
amongburialequipmentat a time
whenwoodenmodelsof peasants,
andthelikewereno
stables,granaries,
longerin fashion.Yuy'stombwassitlater
uatedwhereQueenHatshepsut
to hertempleof
erectedthecauseway
Deirel-Bahri.It is possible,therefore,
thelittlepigfiguredidnot belong
that
73. YoungPig
to Yuyat allbutwasa poorman'sgift
Thebes,foundnearthetombof
Western
whose
to Hathorof Deirel-Bahri,
I3(?),ca.I700thevizierYuy,LateDynasty
brown shrinebesideHatshepsut's
Woodwithreddish
templewas
I650 B.C. orlater.
1.I%6 in.
andblackpaint(leftlegmissing);
theNew
muchvisitedthroughout
(4cm).RogersFund,I926 (26.3.352)
Kingdom.
in Egyptfrom
Pigsweredomesticated
a wildspecies,Sus scrofa, beforethe
fifthmillenniumB.C. Duringpharaonictimes,porkwasoneof thestaple
foods,andpigswerekeptin herdson
everylargefarm,oftengrazingin the
opensteppe.Pigswerenot highlyregarded,however,andthosewho
tendedthemwerereviledasdirty,althoughan Old Kingdomtombrelief
lovinglyfeeding
showsa herdsman
a smallpigfromhisownmouth.The
tabooon pigmeatevolvedslowly,and
withtheevilSethnotassociations
pigsalsohada favorable
withstanding,
roleto playin Egyptianmyths.The
56

Basedon thenonalignment
of the
linesof thedog'sincisedcollar,anadLateDynasty
I8, I400-I350
B.C. Ivory,
tintedredinsidemouthandblackaround
ditionaldrillholeunderthethroat,and
eyesandonundersides
ofpaws(tailmissing); thepresence
of twosetsof cavitiesin. 73/8 in. (I8.6 cm).Rogers
Fund,I940
sidetheupperjawto accommodate
(40.2.I)
theprotruding
lowerfrontteeth,it appearsthatthejawleverwasoriginally
fixedlowerdownon thechest.The
Thisleapingdogis a masterpiece
of
Egyptiananimalsculpture.
artistorhisclientdidnotliketheorigIt is
shownin a sortof grand
jete',its full
inalshapeof themouthandreposibodyweightthrownforward,
every
tionedit, afterwhichhe hadto drilla
musclestraining.
Becausethelower
newholein theneckanda newcavity
jawcanbe openedandclosedby
in theupperjaw.Thedrillholesprobmeansof theleverunderthebelly,
ablyservedaschannels
fora stringthat
thepiecehasbeencalleda mechanical controlled
theangleof themoveable
toy.Thereare,however,
seriousreliawwnenlt wasln ltSopenposltlon.
giousimplications
to theimageof a
leapingdog.Theartist's
sketch(no.I2),
76. CrouchingDog
forexample,showsa dogin analmost DynastyI8, ca. I550-I295 B.C. Ivory;
identicalposebesidethepharaohas
. 3 1%6 in. (9.7 cm). Gift of HelenMiller
he fightsa lion,which,in thiscontext, Gould,I9I0 (IO.I30.2520)
embodiesevilforces.Associations
of a
leapingdogwiththepharaoWs
mythi- Egyptians
werecloselyattachedto
calroleasthefoeof chaosandevil
theirdogs,whichservedashunting
suggestthattheivorypiecewaspartof
royalburialequipment
andfunctioned
asa magicalobject.If thisis thecase,
judgingfromitsstrikingly
naturalistic
style,it mostlikelybelongedto the
burialofAmenhotep
III.
Theexceptional
pieceshowsunmistakable
signsof an alteration
that
tookplacein antiquity,
probably
shortlyaftertheworkwasfinished.
7S Pharaohis
HuntingDog

andwatchdogs,
statussymbols,and
companions.
Aboutseventydognames
areknownfromtextsandinscriptions.
Theybearstrikingresemblance
to the
namesgivenmodernpets from
Ebony,Blacky,andTrustytO Son-ofthe-Moon,North-wind,
Good-forNothing,and,moresimply,TheFifth
orTheSixth.Theearliestbreed(see
no. 2) haduprightearsanda curled
tail.A laterbreedhadlop earsanda
straighttail.Therewereotherkinds,
includinga typeof dachshund.
Thissmall,crouching
dogis a fine
exampleof theEgyptianartist's
ability
tO convey
ananimalthrougha fewfeatures.Itsheavyheadrestslightlyon
pawsfoldedovereachother:thepictureof a faithfuldogawaitingitsmaster.Manydogburialshavebeenfound
in Egypt,somewithstelebearingthe
animal's
nameorwitha sarcophagus,
andat leastoneEighteenth
Dynasty
leatherdogcollarhassurvived.

57

77. Mouse
DynastyI8, ca. I550-I295 B.C. Ivory;
. 2%6 in. (6.5cm). RogersFund,I9
(44M4M55)

79. (Oppositetop)Vesselin the


Shapeof a Monkey
DynastyI8, ca. I550-I295 B.C. Faience;
h. 2 7/6 in. (6.5cm). RogersFund,I974
(I974-97)

78. Rator SpinyMouse


WesternThebes,DynastyI8, ca. I473stone6X4x
I458 B.C. Drawingon limestone;
Gift, I93I
X
IO
cm).
Anonymous
31%6 in. (I7
(3I *4 2)

It is not clearwhichmouseor rat


speciestheartistshadin mindwhen
theycreatedthesetsvorepresentaEgyptwas
tions.Theratof pharaonic
niloticus
nilothegrassrat,Arvicanthis
ticus.ThehouseratarrivedfromAsia
period.Two
afterthepharaonic
speciesof micedatingto pharaonic
timeshavebeenidentifiedfromanimalbones:theEgyptianspinymouse,
andthehouse
Acomys
cahirinus,
Thespiny
mouse,Musmusculus.
senta housemouse,whereasthe
creature
mouseis a scrubby-looking
drawingon limestonecould
masterly
knownto havelivedon therocky
be a spinymouseor a grassrat.The
in greatnumislandof Elephantine
of a sketch
drawingis on thereverse
bers,whilethehousemouse,which
showingtwoprofilesof Senenmut,
theDelta therenownedstewardof Queen
hasa smoothcoat,preferred
Thesmallexquisiteivory
margins.
makingthisanearly
Hatshepsut,
piece,whichis hollowedon oneside
exampleof theartof political
to serveasa cosmeticdish,mayrepre- caricature.

58

At leastonespeciesof monkey,Ceraethiops,
survivedin the
copithecus
wildin ancientEgyptuntiltheMiddle
Kingdom,butmonkeyshavealso
alwaysbeenimportedfromEthiopia
andSomaliaandkeptasentertaining
by theladies
especially
companions,
of thehouse.In wallpaintingsand
monkeysaredepictedin the
elsewhere
lady'sboudoir,playingassheput
on hermakeup.Theyarealsoshown
to harvestdatesand
busily"helping"
figs.Thenaughtymonkeyseenhere
maywellhavestolenthefruithe is
eatingduringsucha harvest.
manycosmetic
Not surprisingly,
vesselswereadornedwithmonkey
figures.Not onlydidtheseamusing
cavortaroundthedresscreatures
ingroom,buttheyalsocamefromthe
sameexoticcountriesto thesouth
thatproducedmanycosmeticingredimonkeyswerealso
ents.Interestingly,
in ancient
employedaspolice"dogs"
Egypt.OldKingdomreliefsshow
vividscenesof thievesbeingcaught
by thecleveranimals.

likelyasgiftsfordignitaries
andforeign
rulers
attheking's
thirty-year
festival
(HebSed).Themonkeys
areidentified
Dynasty6, reignof PepiI, ca.2289-2255 B.C.
Egyptianalabaster
(inscribed"Ny-Khaswt- aspetsbytheirbracelets
andarmlets.
Meryre[female]tenantlandholder"
[of the
Thevessels
arealmostidentical
in
pyramidendowmentof PepiI] and"first
subject
andcomposition
butremarkoccurrence
ofthejubilee");
h. in. (I3.7 cm).
ablydifferent
otherwise.
Thepiece
Purchase,
JosephPulitzerBequest,Fletcher
belowleftishighlystylized,
itS overall
Fund,andLilaAchesonWallace,Russell
shapeis cylindrical,
andalldetailsare
andJudyCarson,WilliamKellySimpson,
reduced
to
nearly
flat
relie
Theother
andVaughnFoundationGifts,in honorof
piece(no.8I) iS moreorganically
conHenryGeorgeFischer,I992 (I992.338)
ceived,eggshaped
overall,
withthe
Thetwomonkeyvasesbelowareindetailssculpted
in theround.Itcapspiredbykeenobservation
of animal
turesanalmosthumanintimacy
in
behavior,
in thiscasethecloserelation- theposeofthemother
andbaby.In
shipbetweenmothersandtheiryoung ancient
Egyptian
art,it is raretobe
amongprimates.
Bothvesselswere
abletodistinguish
individual
artists'
madeduringtheSixthDynasty,most
handsasclearly
asinthesetwoobjects.

8I.
Vesselin the Shapeof a Mother
Monkeywith HerYoung

5X8

79

80

80. Vesselin the Shapeof a Mother


Monkeywith HerYoung
Dynasty6, reignof Merenre,ca. 22552246 B.C. Egyptian
alabaster
(inscribedwith
the nameMerenre);
h. 7S4in. (I8.5 cm).
TheodoreM. OavisCollection,Bequestof
TheodoreM. Oavis,I9I5 (30.8.I34)

82.

GamePieces
Baboon-Shaped

PtolemaicPeriod,304-30 B.C. Ivory.Left:


h. I%8 in. (3-S cm). LudlowBullFund,I968
Right:h. I%6 in. (3.3 cm). Purchase,
(68.3).
FletcherFundandThe GuideFoundation
Inc.Gift,I966 (66 99X7S)

an
Thesetwolittlebaboonsrepresent
that
importedspecies,Papioanubis,
hamv1?
of
mane
lacksthemagnificent
animal
The figuresaremasterful
dryas.
depictions,comblningpreciseanawithexpressive,
tomicalrendering
Since
almostsatiricalcharacterization.
right
the
on
thebackof thefigure
is shapedlikea knucklebone,thetraditionalformof dicein the ancient
world,it is likelythatbothanimals
werepiecesfroma game.Stylistically
theyareso closeto oneanotherthat
theymustbelongto thesameset,althoughtheycameto theMuseum
at differenttimes.
Bythe Ptolemaicera,many
werelivingin cities,some
Egyptians
of whichwerequitelargeandcosmothatancient
politan,aswasAlexandria,
of NewYork.The minor
equivalent
artsof thetimeoftenreflectan urban
lifestyleanda somewhatsentimental
attitudetoward
andcondescending
nature.The twobaboons,nearcaricaturesof twolittlebeggars,aregood
examplesof thisoutlook.The artist
whosculptedthefigureshada discerningeyethatwassurelyinfluenced
bytheHellenistictradition,whichis
reflectedin theintricateposturesof
thethinanimalbodies.
.

83. Baboon
Dynasty26, 664-S2S B.C.
Memphis(?),
Faience;h. 3X6in. (8.8cm). Purchase,
EdwardS. HarknessGift,I926 (26.7.874)

Egypt'sresidentspeciesof baboon,
vanishedfromthe
Papiohamadryas,
wildduringtheMiddleKingdom,
aboutthesametimethatthemonkey
baboons
Thereafter
alsodisappeared.
continuedto be importedfromthe
depicted
south.Theywereconsistently
aslessplayfulandmoreseriousthan
thewhimsicalmonkey.As farbackas
EarlyDynastictimestheancient
thebaboonasthe
venerated
Egyptians
whiteone,"whichhasbeen
"great
calleda royalancestoranimal.Based
of theactualbehavior
on observations
believed
of baboons,theEgyptians
thesun
worshiped
thattheseprimates
armsor
godat sunrisewithupraised
handson theirknees,posturesthat
byprimatologists
havebeenexplained
needto warmits body
astheanimal's
Thehands-on-knees
morning.
the
in
posturefoundits mostimpressive
in largebaboon
artisticrealization
createdduringthereignof
sculptures
AmenhotepIII(ca.I390-I353 B.C.).
and
intelligence
Thebaboon's
enigmaticgazelinkedit to Thoth,
for
thegodof wisdom,responsible
all
writing,andgenerally
measuring,
Thisfaiencestatthingsintellectual.
of thedeity.
uetteis a representation
Manyartistsstudiedandrevivedolder
duringDynasty26.
artistictraditions
that
It is entirelypossible,therefore,
IIIbaboonsculptures
theArnenhotep
weretheultimatesourceof this
statuesque
smallbutimpressively
masterpiece.

60

developed

in six

main phases.

During

the

A BriefHistoryof AnilnalRepresentation
in EgyptianArt

LatePredynasticPeriod,
ca. 3200-2960 B.C.

DynastiesI and 2,
ca. 2960-2649 B.C.

Dynasty3,
ca. 2649-2575 B.C.

Dynasty4,
ca.2575-2465B.C.

Dynasties5and6,
ca.2465-2I50B.C.

Theartof Egyptian
animalrepresentation

__
_
_

latePredynastic
Periodandthefirsttwo
x
dynasties,
animalrepresentations
were
widelyusedto expresstheoretical
concepts
suchaskingshipor thepowersof theuniverse.At thistime,theEgyptians
formu_
latedtheirhieroglyphic
script,a goodpart
of whichis composedof animalimages.
Animalswererendered
moreabstractly
thantheywouldbelaterand
canusuallybe identifiedbygenusbutnotbyspecies.Manyimportant
imagesof deitiesin animalshapesbeganto receivedefinitiveform,a
processcompletedbyDynasty3.Theiconography
of typesthuscreated
wouldcontinueto be usedin muchlaterperiods.

Thesecondphaseof animalrepresentation
beganin Dynasty4 andreachedanunsurpassedpeakin Dynasty5.Egyptianartists
revealed
theiroutstanding
abilitiesto
observenaturecloselyanddepictit precisely.Today's
zoologistscanidentify
almosteveryspeciesof fish,fowl,or
hornedsteppeanimalseenin paintings
andreliefsfromtheperiod.Theincentive
forthisnaturalism
camefromthebelief
thatthesungod,assupremecreator,
caredforeverylivingthing,each
in itsparticular
formandsize.In art,thesolarcreedfounditsmost
potentexpression
in theFifthDynastysuntemplesatAbusir,justsouth
of present-day
Cairo.Preserved
onlyin fragments,
reliefsfromthese
templesrevealed
in minutedetailthelivingworldunderthesolar
deity'stutelage.Eachanimalwasshownin activities
appropriate
to the
threeseasonsof theEgyptian
year.Theinfluenceof thesesun-temple
reliefsis apparent
in allanimalrepresentations
of theOldKingdom
andin manylaterworksof art.

Nos.

I, I3,

39

Nos. 49, 50, 52, 54

No.

61

oped.
_ As

FirstIntermediate
ca.2I40Period,
2040

B.C.

_
_
_

the
Early Old
in

the
Kingdom
third

waned,
phase

of theanimal

of Memphis(modernMit
importance
Rahina,southof Cairo)anditsroyalresanda
idencegavewayto theprovlnces,
develphilosophy
pessimistic
markedly

whichcoincideswith
representation,
theMiddleKingdomandearlyNew
inspireda nascentfolkart,andtheprevailing
Kingdom,provincialism
forwhichmany
of magicalpractices
gaveriseto a multitude
pessimism
with
newtypesof objectswerecreated.Oftenfolkartandiconography
while
figures,
animal
Kingdom
in
Middle
mingled
significance
magical
intofine
thesecharacteristics
luxuryarticlessublimated
high-quality
largely
were
worksof art.Royaltempleandtombreliefs,however,
Asthethirdphaselappedover
byOldKingdomprototypes.
influenced
animalimages,
manycharming
intotheearlypartof theNewKingdom,
oftenmoreintimateandelegantthanthoseof theMiddleKingdom,
werecreated.

_i

MiddleKingdom,
ca.2040-I640 B.C., to
earlyNewKingdom,
ca.ISSO-I400 B.C.

III,
Amenhotep
ca.I390-I353 B.C.

Akhenaten,
ca.I353-I336 B.C.

62

A revivalof solarworshipusheredin
thefourthphaseof theartof animal
Thenewintensityin
representation.
theworshipof thesungodstarteddurIIIand
ingthereignof Amenhotep
son
his
reacheda peakwhile
to
thisphaseindudesmanyparallels
wasking.Artistically
Akhenaten
details,
of OldKingdomartists.Anatomical
theaccomplishments
concerns.
wereagainprimary
rendered,
andprecisely
doselyobserved
not only
Therewasrenewedinterestin the conceptof time,expressed
to capattempts
artists'
the
but
in
life
of seasonal
in representations
turea passingmomentbyshowingtheeffectsof gentlewindsblowing
suchas
animalsin motion.Stylistictendencies
overplantsorbyfreezing
mostreadilyto painting,andevenbeforethethird
theselentthemselves
of thiskind.Manyfinedrawings
phasehadended,therewereexamples
of
theachievements
Dynastyanticipate
madein theearlyEighteenth
reign.
artistsduringAkhenaten's
in theroundwereanotherspecialtyof thelatethird
Smallsculptures
lifestylethatreandfourthphases,echoinganurban,luxury-oriented
betweenhumansandanimals.
relationship
sultedin a moresentimental
bylargehardanimalfigureswereinfluenced
Manyof thesmall-scale
suchasthemorcreatedforroyalmonuments
stoneanimalsculptures
IIIatThebesor,in Nubia,thetempleat
tuarytempleof Amenhotep
royal
works,suchasa texton a largescarabdescribing
Soleb.Literary
theimhuntingfeatsor thefamoushymnsto thegodAten,underlined
of animalsin thestateideologyof thetime.Theimmensehuntportance
bythefamedcourthuntsof theNewKingdom,
ingbootygenerated
mayhavegivenartiststhechanceto studyanimalbodies
incidentally,
directly.

Nos.

6I, 62, 73

Nos. 38,

39, 4I, 59

No. 34
Nos. I6, I7, 27
Nos. 25, 49
Nos. 3, 9, 20, 35,

37, 39,

42, 57, 7I, 76, 77, 78, 79

_
_

Nos. 4, 6, IS, 24, 26, 48,


75

No. 7s
No. 24
Nos. 35,67, 78

Nos. 3, 4, 75

Sometime
especially

;i

I9 and20,
Dynasties
ca.I295-I070 B.C.

ThirdIntermediate
ca.I070-7I2
Period,

during
during thetheLate
Old Period,
and New

dynasin succeeding
Justasechoesof FifthDynastyartreverberated
IIIand
of thereignsof Amenhotep
ties,theanimalrepresentations
theartof latertimes.Thisinfluenceis
greatlyinfluenced
Akhenaten
reflected
in themanyfineanimalimagesof DynastiesI9 and20 and
of certainamulets
Period.Thestrikingliveliness
theThirdIntermediate
vitalityof thattraditionaswell.
fromthatperiodrevealstherenewed

Nos.

I2,

40, 53,63, 69

No. 37

B.C.

LatePeriod,7thto 4th
centuryB.C.

artistsbeganto discovertheanatomiof animalbodies.They


calstructure
andcaptured
hadalwaysobserved
of eachspecies,
essentialcharacteristics

_
_
_i

butnow,in thefifthphase,
Kingdoms,
howbones,
theysoughtto understand
muscles,sinews,andskinmadeananimalfunction.Theresultscould
be lmpresslve.
in
of thisfifthphasearesculptures
Thebestanimalrepresentations
small
Innumerable
theround,createdin darkgreenorblackhardstone.
of highqualitymadeduringthisperiod
animalamuletsandfigurines
in
earlierachievements
andreinterpreting
alsoshowartistsreevaluating
beautiful
detail.
The
organic
on
art,witha newemphasis
miniature
faienceenhancedtheeffectof these
colorof thisperiod's
lightturquoise
a

_
_

_
_

Nos. S, S

Nos. I9,

20,

37, 46, s6,

S8,64, 83

tlny masterpleces.

_
_
-

Sx I0, II, S

sometlmes

andRoman
Ptolemaic
periods304s.c.-4th
centuryA.D.

Nos.

j_

Thesixthphaseof animalrepresentationcoveredthePtolemaicand
Romanperiods.In thelightblue,
finlshedfaienceof the
impeccably
period,

Nos. 28, 29, 33,74, 82


Nos. 2I, 28

amuletlclmagesassumeda

theincoolaloofnessthatreflected
typicalof thisphaseof
tellectualism
waswidely
culture.Bronze
Egyptian
for
werealsocontainers
usedforanimalfigures.Manyof thesebronzes
almost
bodyrelicsof realanimals.Suchobjectsremindusof theperiod's
of thedivine.Beginning
frenziedsearchfortangiblemanifestations
ratherthanimages,
LatePeriodphase,actualanimals,
withthepreceding
in
the
worshipof deities.
numbers
in
ever-increasing
hadbeenincluded
of manystrikartwasthecreation
of Ptolemaic
A specialachievement
Whethervotivesorsculptors'
ingreliefimagesof animalsin limestone.
animalsin anexemplary
models,thesereliefsclearlystriveto represent
of yearsof artistictradition
thousands
anddirectmanner.Capturing
andattention
theyevincethesamesubstance
in definitivepictograms,
to detailthathadinspiredanimalimageryin EgyptsincetheOld
Kingdom.
_
_

Nos. 23, 43, 44, 4S, 60

Nos. SI,S2,SS

63

SelectedGeneralBibliography
in
of animals
studiesonthesubject
In-depth
without
AncientEgyptcannotbeundertaken
KeimerbyLudwig
thearchive
consulting
unpublishednowhousedin the
largely
Cairo.The
Institute,
Archaeological
German
arelistedin
byKeimer
articles
numerous
desalten
Die Tierwelt
Boessneck,
Joachim
pp. I9I-92.
I988),
Agypten(Munich,

Literature:
Lichtheim,Miriam.AncientEgyptian
Los
3 vols.Berkeley,
A BookofReadings.
Angeles,andLondon,I973-80.

John.ZoologyofEgypt.Vol.I, Reptilia
Anderson,
I965.
I898; repr.
London,
andBatrachia.

Richard.NicollsBirdsofEgypt.2
Meinertzhagen,
vols.London,I930.

7 vols.Wiesbaden,
LexikonderAgyptologie.
Germany,I975-92.

Malek,Jaromir.TheCatin AncientEgypt.
London,I993.

Carol.AmuletsofAncientEgypt.Texas,
Andrews,
I994-

III:Planteset animausdu 'CJardin


Thoutmosis
Lovaniensia
Karnak.Orientalia
botanique"de

Page24, "Asa boldfen-mandoes":H. W.


Horus,p. 82, verses
Fairman,TheTriumphant
and90-92.
8I-83

desAlten
Die Tierwelt
Joachim.
Boessneck,
anhandkulturgeschichtAgyptenuntersucht
I988.
Quellen.Munich,
licherundzoologisher

Page25, "Theirarmsadoreyourappearance":
vol. 2, notedabove,
Lichtheim,Literature,

Fish
J.,andReneF.Friedman.
Douglas
Brewer,
andFishingin AncientEgypt.Cairo,I989.

Oxford,
I969.
im
Ingrid.FischeundFischkulte
Gamer-Wallert,
Vol.2I. Agyptologische
altenAgypten.
Helckand
Ed.WolEgang
Abhandlungen.
I970.
Otto.Wiesbaden,
Eberhard

Enel.
andThierry
Hery,Franc,ois-Xavier,
AnimauxduNil AnimauxdeDieu.

Aix-enpharaonique.
del'Egypte
L'Univers
I993.
Provence,
"Tiere."
Staehelin.
Erik,andElisabeth
Hornung,
aus
undandereSiegelamulette
InSkarabden
in
Denkmdler
Agyptische
BaslerSammlungen:
derSchweiz.Vol.I, pp. I06-63. Mainz,I976.

F.TheBirdsofEgypt.
Patrick
Houlihan,
I986.
England,
Warminster,
VeravonDroste.DerIgelim alten
zuHulshoK,
Agyptologische
Hildesheimer
Agypten.
I980.
II. Hildesheim,
Beitrage
Egyptian
andJackJanssen.
Rosalind,
Janssen,
Animals.ShireEgyptology.
Household
I989.
England,
Aylesbury,

64

p. I87.

p. I90.

I990.
Belgium,
36. Leuven,
Analecta

PyramidTexts.
Egyptian
. TheAncient

PageII, "Ahunterpursuesit withhis hounds":


vol. 2, notedabove,
I ichtheim,Literature,

Page24, "FromyourbeautyI'llnot part!":


vol. 2, notedabove,
Lichtheim,Literature,

de
Le Cabinetdu curiosite's
Beaux,Nathalie.

I977-

Lichtheim,
Page7, "'Thisis the tasteof death"':
vol. I, TheOldandMiddle
Literature,
p. 224.
Kingdoms,

Page2I, "grantthe beauteousWest:in peace":


JaromirMalek,TheCatin AncientEgypt,
byJamesAllen.
p. 86, fig. 53; translation

HymnenundGebete.
Jan.Agyptische
Assmann,
derAltenWelt.Zurichand
DieBibliothek
Munich,I975.

O. TheAncientEgyptian
Raymond
Faulkner,
England,
2 vols.Warminster,
Cog7in
Texts.

p. 203.

PageI6, "whoseesandcatchesby night":


RaymondO. Faulkner,TheAncientEgyptian
p- I05,
vol. 2, Spells3Sy-787)
Cofin Texts,
spell470.

E.deWinton.
John,andWilliam
Anderson,
I902.
ZoologyofEgypt:Mammalia.London,

Horus:An
H. W. TheTriumphant
Fairman,
and
AncientEgyptianSacredDrama.Berkeley
I974.
LosAngeles,

Page6, "Beetlesin allkindsof wood":afterJan


HymnenundGebete,
Assmann,Agyptische

P- 97-

Animals:
Phillips,DorothyW.,AncientEgyptian
A PictureBook.NewYork(TheMetropolitan
Museumof Art),I942.
und
Erzahlungen
Roeder,Gunther.Altagyptische
Jena,Germany,I927.
M2rchen.
du nouvel
Catherine.LesChevaux
Rommelaere,
races,harnacheOrigines,
empireEgyptien:
de l'Egypteancienne
ment.Conaissance
Etude3. Brussels,I99I.
Schoske,Sylvia,andDietrichWildung.Gottund
Mainz,I992.
Gotterim altenAgypten.
Winlock,HerbertE. ModelsofDailyLifein
at
AncientEgyptfromtheTombofMeket-Re
of The Metropolitan
Thebes.
Publications
Museumof ArtEgyptianExpedition.Vol.I8.
Mass.,I955.
Cambridge,
Notes:
Page2, "noscenein the tombcontainedany
HerbertE. Winlock,"The
suchfigure":
The
EgyptianExpedition,I922-I923,"
MuseumofArtI8
Bulletinof TheMetropolitan
(oldseries,DecemberI923), part2, p. 2I.
with a fewswiftstrokesof
Page2, "indicated
black":
Winlock,"TheEgyptianExpedition,"
notedabove,p. 34.
Page4, "Beetlewho raisedhimself":Miriam
vol. 2,
Lichtheim,AncientEgyptianLiterature,
p. 87.
TheNewKingdom,

Page38, "whenthe riverbanksareflooded":


PyramidTexts,
Egyptian
Faulkner,TheAncient
byJames
58I; translation
p. 235, utterance
Allen.
Page38, "Who makeshis bountyoverflow":
vol. I, notedabove,
Lichtheim,Literature,
pp. 205 and207.
Page43, "Iwason my bellybeforehim":
vol. I, notedabove,
Lichtheim,Literature,
p. 2I2.

Page45, "Andmy heartwassweetto excess":


byJamesAllenfromPapyrus
Translation
Harris500.
PageSI,"littleworldof fourthousandyearsago":
HerbertE. Winlock,Modelsof DailyLifein
AncientEgypt,p. 3.
Lichtheim,
PageSI,"sothathe couldescape":
vol. 2, notedabove,pp. 204-6.
Literature,
Page54, "Thereis nothingmorecunningthan
man":GuntherRoeder,Alt2gyptische
p. 308.
undMarchen,
Erzahlungen
Page58, Rator spinymouse:The animalon the
reverseof the Senenmutostracon(acc.no.
hasbeenidentifiedbyJacquesJ.
3I.4.2)
Janssenasa fox ("Onthe Scentof a Fox"in
pp.
I6 [I990],
in Egyptology
Discussions
43-SI),but the longanddensewhiskers,
elongatedmuzzle,andthin tailarenot those
of a fox. DaleJ. Osbornidentifiesthe animal
asa rodent,quitepossiblya spinymouse
England,forthcoming).
(Warminster,

s-t
-bt

fW

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