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Tomb of Khuw, Asyut

Note collar & leash

Cats were domesticated in Egypt.  Dogs, however, were domesticated during the Ice Age 20,000-40,000 years ago.  While it seems that basic wolf stock was present everywhere, it turns out there was a single point of domestication near Germany that spread out to fill the world.

--- Ancient European dog genomes reveal continuity since the Early Neolithic. Nature Communications, 2017; 8: 16082 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms16082

"Domesticated animals used in hunting, in agricultural systems, and as pets as early as the Old Kingdom (2575–2134 B.C.E.), the canines of the Nile Valley developed from two distinct historic genetic lines: canis familiaris Leineri, known for greyhounds and sight hounds, and canis familiaris intermedius, known for Egyptians’ smaller house dogs. The Saluki-type breed, the hounds, and the short-legged terriers were well established by the Middle Kingdom (2040–1640 B.C.E.). Nomarchs were buried with their dogs, and funerary stelas represent certain breeds.
The custom of keeping dogs as pets faded between the Middle Kingdom and the New Kingdom (1550–1070 B.C.E.), but Queen-Pharaoh Hatshepsut (r. 1473–1458 B.C.E.), revived the popularity of the various breeds."

--- Bunson, M. R. 2002. Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, New York

Allegedly, the first graphic representation of a domestic dog in Egypt is the "Moscow cup".  I've seen references to it, but never an image.  I'm guessing it's a chunk of pottery which makes it an "ostrakon".

I found a reference in a journal paper, but when I looked it up, it was something else.  This kind of thing happens all the time ... "confusion of references."  Abdelwahed (below) cites Bunson (above), but it's not in there.


Two Dog Pallete, Hierakonpolis 

"The head of one of the dogs that frame the top of the palette is missing, and two drilled holes at the base of the neck suggest that it was repaired in antiquity. On the reverse of the palette, a mixture of fabulous and real wild animals occupy the left-hand side of the scene from where they attack a range of herbivores native to North Africa. From the top, there are a pair of lions, a serpopard, a leopard, a hyena and a griffin with comb-like wings. At the bottom is a long-tailed dog-like creature wearing a belt and playing an end-blown flute."

--- Ashmolean Museum Oxford, Two Dog Palette, Hierakonpolis 3300–3100 BC 

There may be fantasy animals in there, but it establishes domestic dogs more than 5000 years ago.  There are a few serpopard websites if you're really interested.

This comes from the workers' village around the 18th-19th dynasties.  The dogs are standard sight hound shapes with a variety of color patterns, indicating selective breeding.  It's an ostrakon, just a piece of a broken pot, but it's survived 3000 years pretty well.


Deir el Medina, Thebes

As mentioned above, there were two distinct lineages of dogs, but the Egyptians, like everyone else, found they could "make" whatever they wanted.  Tomb paintings contain many different types of dogs which appear to be something like: pharaoh hounds, greyhounds, Ibizans, Salukis, Basenjis, Mastiffs, whippets, Dachshunds, and Bassets.

Miniatures weren't widespread but some do appear.  I saw a reference to a mummified miniature dog in a tomb, but I just lost it (sorry).  This image appears to be a miniature greyhound.  I can relate.  I have one.  My first book is dedicated to another.


TT391, Tomb of Pabasa, el Assasif, Theban Necropolis 

We know what the ancient Egyptians called their dogs because in the paintings they have collars, and some of the collars have their names.

"Ancient Egyptian names of dogs in Pharaonic tomb reliefs and stelae included the Brave One, Reliable, Healthy, Grabber, Pleasant One, Good Herdsman, Cook-pot, and even the Useless.  Many of the epithets represent endearment, but others merely convey dogs abilities. Dogs also acquired theophoric names such as 'Amun is Valient' ..."

--- Abdelwahed, Youssri. More The Pets: Dogs in Graeco-Roman Egypt, Journal of Faculty of Tourism and Hotels, University of Sadat City, Vol. 1,Issue 1, June, 2017


 Tomb of Khnumhotep II at Bani Hassan.

It's just a nice picture of sight hounds.  I like sight hounds.

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