The symbolism of the dog and the Jackal in ancient Egypt

A fierce animal, sharp-tempered, attracted by the smell of carrion, so he described a grave-scavenger, its connection to the world of the dead and its access to rotting corpses, linking its name to the world of mythology, which made the ancient Egyptian sanctify it and raise it to the highest position that an animal could reach, so he lined up with the gods, and became a symbol of God Anubis.

That animal was nothing but the Egyptian wolf, one of the carnivores from the ancient world. It was known since pre-dynastic times as “Jackal.” 

Archaeologists found a number of its mummies wrapped in linen in the excavations of the Badari civilization, dating back to 4 thousand BC. It is considered the oldest indication of reverence for that animal since the Chalcolithic period in Egypt.

Simple sketches of it appeared on the pottery of the first Naqada civilization, which extends from 3900 to 3600 BC, and in the Naqada II, civilization extends between the years 3600. 

And until 3200 BC, he explicitly took the form of an idol, where amulets were found depicting him as an idol in the eastern delta and Naqada. At the end of the Naqada III era, he was associated with the monarchy and appeared within the brigades of deities inscribed on the scorpion and Narmer funnels.

When the ancient Egyptians in ancient Pharaonic times noticed the habits of that wolf towards corpses, they feared the inability to resurrect and reach the afterlife, so they took it as a symbol of the god Anubis, the god of death and mummification, protector of tombs, and was usually depicted in the form of a man with a wolf head, wearing scarves He holds the key to life in his hands. 

However, he is golden in color; the ancient Egyptians painted his head black because it represents the darkness of death. In the ancient Greek civilization, Jackal appeared in the form of the god “Hermes,” the messenger of the Greek gods, and the second least of the gods, “Olymp,” and the god of sailors. 

Also, he appeared in the image of the mythical beast called the “Devil of the Pit.” There are also tribes in India who are happy when a child is born with his head, a limb that resembles the horn that the females of that golden wolf possess, believing that he has good luck in life, as mentioned by the Jackal In the Bible, several times, he is described as an evil creature. Psalm 63 describes that unbelievers will become food for jackals.

It is strange that his myths still exist in some places as it does in India. It is the largest type of “Jackal” and the only one that spreads outside the continent of Africa, its 12 subspecies.

However, genetic studies have shown that it is not closely related to Jackal types. It is A mammal of the Canidae family that is not threatened with extinction; it is widespread in northern and eastern Africa, southeastern Europe, and southern Asia, even in Myanmar, known as “Burma,” with many other names, including the Asian and eastern jackals. 

It was also known in the Levant as “the wolf,” In the middle of Europe, specifically in “Hungary,” it was called the Austro-Hungarian wolf or the red wolf.

The golden Jackal’s dependence on its food is mainly on carrion. Still, it may prey on some domesticated animals, such as cattle and poultry, or steal the remains of other predatory animals, such as lions and tigers belonging to the genus of tigers. It usually hunts alone, sometimes joining constituents From 2 to 5 wolves. 

Its strong sense of hearing and smell helps it to track its small and medium-sized prey, from hares, rodents, birds, insects, fish, deer, and black antelope, and it can hunt prey larger in size, which may reach five times its size, such as donkeys And horses.

Dog in ancient Egypt

The Pharaonic dog is one of the oldest dog breeds, and it is native to ancient Egypt, Where the Egyptians used it for hunting antelope and other games. Similar dogs were found on the walls of the tomb of Pharaoh Antiv II, dating back to 2300 BC.

In the sixteenth century BC, the Phoenicians brought a Pharaonic dog to Malta, where it was settled until modern times.

Pharaonic dogs are smooth dogs, their length is between 53 and 70 cm at shoulder height, and they weigh between 15 and 23 kg. Its fur is short, flat, shiny, whitish brown, or red.

Pharaonic dogs have white toes on the foot, their chest is white, drawing like stars, and the tip of their whip-like tail is also white, and many pharaonic dogs have a white line above the middle of the face.

The color of the pharaonic dogs turns red when excited, meaning that their nose and upright ears change from normal to dark pink.

The eyes of the Pharaonic dogs are an unusual amber color. Pharaonic dogs were famous for using the sense of sight and smell in hunting, and they move with speed and grace, and their bite is strong.

Breeds of the dogs

The dogs were originally from Iran and descended from the Asian wolf after it mixed with the wild dog breed, which completely disappeared from the globe’s surface. 

This mixing and the appearance of dogs occurred about 10 thousand years ago. And the dogs belong to the phylum Chordata, the semi-vertebrates, the class of mammals, the order of carnivores, the canine family, and includes foxes, wolves, jackals, and dogs.

Kennel club

Fossils indicated the existence of dog-like families from 90,000 years ago in Siberia and Scotland. The American Kennel now recognizes 400 dog breeds.

The first Egyptian association for dog breeding and purification of the strains of these pets was declared, and the disposal of stray street dogs by a scientific method of compassionate animal sterilization away from killing by bullets, poisoning, genocide, or beating and international recognition of Egyptian breeds of dogs and participation in the International Dog Breeding Federation in Belgium.

The association seeks to sponsor and promote Egyptian breeds and register them internationally. We only have the “Armenian” dog, as some countries have managed to use ancient Egyptian breeds and register them under the name of the national breed of their country.

Therefore, the association is responsible for registering our breed in the International Federation and promoting it universally.

Many dogs were photographed in the past, as in the cemetery of Antef II of the family of 11 at Thebes. The tomb of “Antef II” was mentioned in the “Abbott” papyrus (Pap. Brit. Mus. 10221), known as the “Tomb robbery papyrus.” 

Antef II is the owner of the famous painting found near his tomb, which is housed in the Egyptian Museum, and it is a painting that represents him standing and five of his dogs that bore Libyan names. In the sixteenth century BC, the Phoenicians took dogs with them to the island of Malta.

The Most Popular Dogs:

1. Ibizan:

This ancient dog Ibizan was photographed in ancient Egyptian tombs and is a hunting dog. The Phoenician and Libyan merchants took it on a ship to the Spanish Balearic Islands. It was named after their island and was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1979. 

One of the smartest dog species – active, attentive – an athlete.

It loves movement a lot – it is fit as a guard dog due to its attention and the strength of its senses.

It needs close attention and to be put in place with high fences, as it is known for climbing trees. They are hunting dogs that rely heavily on the sense of sight to locate their prey, along with the sense of smell and hearing.

2- The Saluki dog:

Saluki, the Royal Dog of Egypt, is a type of hunting dog and is considered one of the fastest animals, like the cheetah, with a speed of approximately 80 km.

It is longer than a cheetah as it runs long distances without getting tired. It bears the trouble of chasing in various Circumstances, as it keeps fluids in its body because it does not lose water through sweat (because dogs’ skins are devoid of skin pores, except for a little) that evaporates through the tongue, and that is the secret of its constant panting in fatigue and comfort.

And what is unique to the Saluki dog from the other animals trained to hunt is that These animals hunt for themselves. However, the Saluki dog hunts for its owner unless extreme hunger drives it to the opposite, and it hunts alone or in a group. 

It is a friend of man … is familiar with prey from the bird Like a falcon, domesticates it, and helps it in its prey. If the hunter could combine a hunting dog with a trained falcon, that would be the best.

There is no longer a demand for the Saluki dog as in the past due to the many laws that do not allow hunting hares, deer, and antelopes.

His qualities: 

Cool-tempered – does not harm anyone – is very affectionate – obedient to its owner and does not turn away from him … quick to respond to what he wants – he suffices on a little amount of food – does not eat raw meat … because during training it gets used to that – if it catches its prey, it carries it to his owner Without touching anything from it.

3- Basenji dog: Basenji dog

It is a small African hunting dog from central Africa, which is the origin of the Baladi dog breed and reaches a height of 40.5-43 cm. 

And he belongs to an ancient dynasty with all the characteristics and appearances of the people of the desert. It has erect ears. They are often sandy yellow with white areas.

Females give birth once a year. The blazing dog is the only dog that cannot bark but makes a roaring sound.

4- The Pharaoh Hound

The Pharaonic dog is one of the oldest dog breeds, and its homeland is ancient Egypt, where it was used to hunt antelopes and other animals. 

They are smooth dogs, their length is between 53 and 70 cm at shoulder height, and they weigh between 15 and 23 kg. Their fur is short, flat, glossy, whitish brown, or gunky red.

Pharaonic dogs have white tips on the foot. The tip of their tail is similar to a whip, and many pharaonic dogs have a white line at the top of the middle of the face.

Pharaonic dogs were famous for using the sense of sight and smell in hunting, and they move quickly and gracefully, and their bite is powerful.

5- Whippet

Some of these dogs suffer from a genetic modification that leads to their overactive muscles, and they have been called the Bully Whippet.

The genetic mutation defects some of these dogs and makes them suffer from double-muscled, meaning twice the muscle size of normal dogs of the same family.

It is not like other dogs, where the abdominal muscles are divided into a group of six muscles. The Bully Whippet has 24 muscles in the abdomen.

6- Greyhound Hound Running Dog

Running Hound is considered the fastest dog, and There are traces of these dogs from 3500 years ago.

In the past, this species had taken place in daily life, as it indicated the elevation of its owner and as possessing the order evident in the great trade of the Egyptians.

Today, this dog is used for hunting rabbits or deer, thanks to its high speed. Running Hood reaches a height of 76 cm and weighs 32 kg, and this is lightweight in proportion to its height.

His body structure suited to his function is a thin bone, light and long legs, a deep chest, and small paws, and his body is twisted with flexible muscles.

Running Hound can run at a speed of 72 km / h While running, and this dog cuts through the wind like a knife more lightly and flexibly than any other type of dog.

A dog is a friend, not a dog friend.

This analogy with dogs was mentioned in the noble Prophet’s hadith:

As the Prophet says and describes the Kharijites as dogs of the people of Hell).

This is not an insult to dogs because the simile took its most beautiful attribute… which is (loyalty).

As if he says they are loyal to the people of Hell.

Loyal as dogs who recruited them to betray their homelands. Loyal as dogs to their owners.


Related Tours: