An Egyptian\u27s Best Friend? An Analysis and Discussion of the Depiction of the Domestic Dog in Ancient Egypt

Abstract

Domestic dogs in ancient Egypt have rarely recieved attention from the Egyptological community. They have been perceived as pets, hunting dogs, guard dogs, or sacred animals. The modern connotations of pet-keeping have been imposed onto them, with little evidence. Their function or meaning to the ancient Egyptians has rarely been questioned. Evidence of the dog in ancient Egypt appears as early as the Predynastic period and as late as the Roman era. Images of dogs appears in tombs, temples, and on artifacts. Dog burials have also been perserved, and they have been referenced in Egyptian and Classical textual sources. This thesis collects all available iconographic examples of the dog in ancient Egypt and evaluates the data to create a basis for a critical analysis of the function(s) of the dog. Did the domestic dog serve a symbolic purpose(s) to the ancient Egyptians, or were they merely valued as lifelong companions

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