Scenes of Mongoose as a Predator in the Papyrus Thicket During the Old Kingdom

Document Type : Original Research Articles



This paper studies the mongoose (ichneumon) as a predator widely represented in the fowling and fishing scenes, chasing birds in a papyrus thicket. From the predynastic period, several scholars attempted to attest the mongoose among other animals prevailed at this time, which had been called different names in ancient Egyptian language. It also deals with specific features of mongoose in order to differentiate it from other similar animals such as Otter and Weasel. The paper reviews many tomb scenes of the mongoose as a predator of young birds in their nests, with several scenes, causing the belief that the ancient Egyptian trying to tame it. Besides, it discusses the unrealistic appearance of the papyrus thicket in which the animals were preyed, as a fictional rather than a true reflection of wildlife. furthermore, the religious meaning interpreted these scenes. Especially, all related scenes were found in a funerary context and therefore one expects them to have a religious dimension, even though this was not explicitly stated.


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