History : Aug-Sep 2015
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC HISTORY 13 Domesticated dogs enjoyed free run of the home, eating and sleep- ing with their doting masters. Imag- es have been found of dogs sporting ornate collars, their leashes held by proud owners. Curiously, howev- er, no image has been found of adult Egyptians stroking their pets, groom- ing them, or even playing with them. Cats and Monkeys Cats, or miu, were domesticated from the time of the Middle Kingdom (from 2040 b.c.). They were prized as efficient hunters, killing rats, mice, snakes, and other pests found in the houses and barns of Egypt. This vital CATS FEATURED in many areas of Egyptian life, including religion. In this 1878 painting by Edwin Long we can see a sculptor make a statue representing Bastet, the cat goddess. Egyptians, the First Veterinarians A SICK COW, a bull with a cold, and a dog with an ulcer. Fractures, neutering, preventive treatment with hot and cold baths, massage lotions, cauterization—all of this is detailed in the Kahun papyri, considered the very first treatise on veterinary science. This remarkable document is one of a collection of papyri that includes gynecological instruction as well as hymns and business documents. They were discovered by the archaeologist Flinders Petrie in the El Faiyum region of Egypt at the close of the 19th century. Written in priestly script, the Kahun collection has been dated to the Middle Kingdom, around 1800 b.c . Some papyri were in very poor condition; fragments had to be painstakingly restored before being translated by the eminent British Egyptologist Francis Llewellyn Griffith.