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Beasts and Beliefs at Beni Hassan: A Preliminary Report

Linda Evans

Abstract


A recent field survey of the elite Middle Kingdom cemetery at Beni Hassan has revealed many unusual animal motifs, including examples of creatures that are rarely attested in the artistic record and entirely new scenes. Two case studies are presented to illustrate the rich zoological repertoire at the site and its potential to enlighten our understanding of the Egyptians’ intriguing relationship with the animal world. These are confirmation of a tame Egyptian mongoose represented in the Eleventh Dynasty tomb of Baqet I (no. 29) and a new image of a pelican in full color in the Eleventh Dynasty tomb of Baqet II (no. 33).


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