Synopses & Reviews
Of all the world's early civilizations, it was ancient Egypt that fostered the closest relationship with the animal world. All aspects of life, both secular and sacred, gave prominent place to man's vital involvement with living creatures of every kind. Peasant and craftsman, ruler and priest treated animals not as mere utilitarian objects, but as symbols of creation equal in the hierarchy of life to humans themselves and closely tied both to everyday existence and to the realm of the gods.
The magnificent photographs in this volume show the incomparable richness of the Pharaonic fauna in all forms of artistic expression painting, sculpture, relief carving, architectural ornamentation, and even in hieroglyphs. They range from astonishing realism in the depiction of birds and beasts, both wild and domesticated, useful and harmful, with which the people of the Nile Valley came into daily contact, to hieratic stylization in portraying the pantheon of animal-headed gods and the sacred and fabulous creatures that inhabited their devotional, funerary and magic world.
The scholarly descriptions and informative captions that accompany this amazing bestiary place each animal depicted in its proper context in relation to man, to the environment, and to the gods. From geese to monkeys, crocodiles to scorpions, the list is virtually endless, while the superb artistry and extraordinary range of the subject matter will open the eyes of Egyptologists and naturalists alike to a subject that has never previously been so superbly displayed and explained.