ancient egypt: history and culture
Ancient Egyptian bestiary: Bears
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Bears

Source: Excerpt from 'Scientific American'
    Apparently not indigenous to Egypt - Herodotus referred to them as scarce - bears were sometimes displayed in menageries or wandering circuses. Athenaios of Naucratis reported that Ptolemy II kept a white bear at Alexandria.
 
    Unlike many other animals, bears were not mummified:
The bears, which are scarce in Egypt, and the wolves, which are not much bigger than foxes, they bury wherever they happen to find them lying.
Herodotus, Histories 2.67.1, translated by George Rawlinson
    The Egyptian term Htm.t refers apparently to an animal native to Syria, and is sometimes interpreted as bear, though hyaena [1] and–when it is written with the jackal determinative–wolf [2] have also been suggested.
[1] Wb 3, 198.14
[2] Digital slip archive DZA 27.540.280
 

 
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