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The purpose of this book is to familiarise the reader with the mammals that were depicted by the ancient Egyptians, and the roles of these animals in their lives. Summaries are given on present and past distribution of each species as well as notes on natural history.
Chapter headings follow the zoological scheme of mammal classification into Orders and Families: Chiroptera (bats), Insectivora (hedgehogs and shrews), Primates (baboons and monkeys), etc., in which species are described and discussed. Description, Natural History, Distribution, The Dynastic Period. One chapter is devoted to the gods Anubis, Seth and other fabulous animals
Dale J. Osborn is a zoologist who has taught and carried out research in many parts of the world including prolonged field research in Egypt. This resulted in the publication with I. Helmy of The Contemporary Land Mammals of Egypt, a study of the modern fauna. He was also a curator for several years in Brookfield Zoo, Chicago. Struck by the acute observation of the ancient Egyptians he has applied his zoological knowledge with his wife, Jana Osbornova, a lecturer in botany and a researcher in Egyptian vegetation, to the depictions of the animals of ancient Egypt.