The one who knows the animals: knowledge, application and transmission
Animals strongly influenced Egypt’s imagery. From religion to art, they played a fundamental role, as in all ancient societies. As a result of domestication and the growing economic importance, taking care of animals became humans‘ accountability.
A highly organised society such as the Egyptians entrusted the care of these creatures to specific individuals. Previous studies have shed light on these figures, such as the shepherd, the beekeeper or the stableman—personalities with social importance and detailed cultural knowledge.
Titles such as ‘true overseer of the two fowling ponds of recreation’ (imy-rA zSwy mA’ n sxmx-ib) – appearing as early as the Old Kingdom reliefs – highlight a yet unexplored field. Thus, the present project aims to extend the existing approach to the overlooked category of fish and birds. A broader scenario related to the organisation of recreational places in the royal palace may be uncovered. A cross-referenced study of texts, biographies and iconography will unveil these figures, understanding tasks, societal position and knowledge owned.