Fish and Fishing in Ancient Egypt

Overview

From the earliest times the Nile has been central to the life of Egypt, but one aspect of the river that has rarely been explored is the life within the river: the fish. Archaeology has shown that fish have always been important to the Egyptians; prehistoric man depended upon them, the Egyptians of Dynastic times used them as both food and currency and they have been a delicacy ever since. This study explores their economic and religious significance and examines Ancient Egyptian fishing methods, the techniques ...
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Overview

From the earliest times the Nile has been central to the life of Egypt, but one aspect of the river that has rarely been explored is the life within the river: the fish. Archaeology has shown that fish have always been important to the Egyptians; prehistoric man depended upon them, the Egyptians of Dynastic times used them as both food and currency and they have been a delicacy ever since. This study explores their economic and religious significance and examines Ancient Egyptian fishing methods, the techniques of which were beautifully depicted in paintings and reliefs by the Egyptians. Fishing tackle, harpoons, fish-hooks, fish-traps and nets are described and illustrated with examples from the ancient art. The core of this fascinating work is the detailed description of some twenty different species which are shown in detail by the Egyptians. Some are well known to all archaeologists, like the 'bolti' or Tilapia. Others are much more curious like the amphibious Clarias or the electric catfish Malapterurus electricus with his 200 volt sting. Each species is identified, fully described and illustrated. Finally there is an appendix on osteology that will enable archaeologists to identify the bones they excavate. This book will be invaluable to both archaeologists and ichthyologists and important for the study of the art and religion of Ancient Egypt.
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