Spoonbill: A Migrating Bird in Ancient Egyptian Sources

Document Type : Original Article


The Higher Institute of Tourism and Hotels, (EGOTH) Ismailia, Egypt


The European spoonbill is among the many migratory birds that arrive in Egypt every year. He appeared on the tomb's wall during the Old Kingdom, particularly during the 5th and 6th Dynasties. There were only a handful of scenes depicting it in the tombs during the Middle Kingdom. His presence in hieroglyphic inscriptions was rare, and his head was often depicted as a hieroglyphic phonetic symbol that had multiple meanings connected to its flat round tip. Moreover, he appears as a complete bird in the Pyramid Texts as a determinative. The marshlands in the Nile Delta, Sinai, Red Sea, and Fayoum have always been home for it. The spoonbill's uncommon appearance can be seen either perched on a papyrus umbel or standing by the clap-net. Fowlers frequently employed it as a decoy to attract other birds. In addition, spoonbill birds live in a harmonious relationship with other birds.
Keywords: spoonbill, migrate, hieroglyphic, bird, scenes



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