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The Impact of Animals on the Daily Life of the Ancient Egyptians

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  • Category: Survival

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Do you like learning about Ancient Egyptians? Do you like animals? If you do, you’re in the right place. The Ancient Egyptians didn’t only build pyramids and grow food to eat, but also had pets, hunted for food, and had animals that were also religiously important too! Animals were very crucial to the Ancient Egyptians in several ways. Here are some ways animals made an impact on the Ancient Egyptians’ lives everyday.

The Ancient Egyptians owned pets of all sorts. One common pet for the Ancient Egyptians were dogs. These pets were used as hunters, guards, and companions for the Egyptians. The Ancient Egyptians didn’t have as many breeds of dog as we do today. Some of their dog breeds were the Basenji, Greyhound, Pharaoh, Saluki, and Whippet. These furry animals were often buried with their masters to provide companionship in the afterlife. Another very important animal to the Ancient Egyptians were the cats. The penalty for killing a cat, even by accident, was death. Cats were also helpful to keep out unwanted visitors, like snakes and rats. It was illegal to export these prized creatures. They also had some animals as pets that we would consider exotic today. Some of these pets were falcons, the ibis, gazelle, baboons and monkeys. The ibis, a bird, was normally too expensive for Ancient Egyptians of the lower class, but many Egyptians still had them. Monkeys, used as pets, were often trained to retrieve objects for their masters.

Ancient Egyptians didn’t just have animals as a companion, they also used animals for religiously important things. Some of the animals that were very important to them were dogs, cats, beetles, falcons, bulls, and sometimes even crocodiles. These animals all meant a lot to the Ancient Egyptians. Some of these animals symbolized or meant something. For example, the Scarab Beetle is a symbol of survival, because it buries itself to hide from danger or threats. Jackals were used as a symbol in the judgement after one died. Domesticated cats were a symbol of grace because of how gracefully they hunted. Falcons were a sign of divine power. Along with being signs of something, most of them were related to the gods. The god, Anubis, had a jackal head and could tell good from bad. Cats were symbols of cat gods like Bast. They believed Scarab beetles were associated with the god Khepri. Scarab beetles were as sacred to the Egyptians as a cross is to Christians. Crocodiles were represented by the god Sonek. Hippos were represented by the goddess Tauret (Taweret), who protects women in childbirth.

The Ancient Egyptians also used these animals as food. Some of the animals they hunted were beef, goat, mutton, perch, catfish, mullet, goose, pigeon, duck, heron, and/or crane. How rich you were played a big role in what you ate. Ancient Egyptians that were wealthy, normally had beef, goat, mutton, perch, catfish, mullet, goose, pigeon, duck, heron, and/or crane on a daily basis. The Ancient Egyptians also had the choice to have their food roasted or boiled with flavouring such as salt, peper, cumin, coriander, sesame, dill, or fennel. If you didn’t have a lot of money, eating meat was a rare occasion. You would normally just eat fish and some poultry. The Ancient Egyptians prepared well for the afterlife. They brought food for themselves, so they weren’t hungry. The animals were put into great preservation so the dead would have food.

In the Ancient Egyptian times, they were very close to their pets and animals around them. Are you close to the animals around you like the Ancient Egyptians were? Now we know about Ancient Egyptian animals and pets and how they treated these animals. We also know how they changed their lives in several different ways, as pets, food, and religious figures.

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