Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Early Cat Taming in Egypt


The wild ancestor of our domestic cat is Felis silvestris, and more precisely its Levantino-African subspecies, F. s. lybica. The exact place and date of its domestication is unknown, but domestic status seems to have been reached by the Middle Kingdom (c. 2040 - 1782 BC) in Egypt, at the latest during the 12th dynasty (c. 1976 - 1793 BC) when the animal begins to appear frequently in Egyptian art. However, a tomb painting from Saqqarah dated to the 5th dynasty (c. 2500 - 2350) depicts a cat with what seems to be a collar around its neck and three hieroglyphs representing seated cats have been found on a limestone building block probably dating to the end of the Old Kingdom and perhaps to the 6th dynasty (Pepy II c. 2278 - 2184 BC).

See the above page for the full story.

No comments: