ancient egypt: history and culture
Ancient Egyptian bestiary: Flies
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Necklace, Source: British Museum Part of a Necklace
Source: British Museum website

    In the ruins of Akhetaten at least two species of fly have been identified, the housefly, Musca domestica, and a flesh-fly of the Sarcophagidae family.[1]
    A major seasonal pest, the Egyptians acknowledged the flies' tenacity. In the form of golden flies, possibly horse flies which have quite a painful sting, they were given to New Kingdom soldiers for their bravery.
    Flies were considered to have magical properties. A magician threatened someone:
I'll enter your body as a fly and see your body from the inside.
    During the Old and Middle Kingdoms flies made of gold, faience, glass or precious stones were worn as amulets called ofef.
[1] Eva Panagiotakopulu, Paul C. Buckland and Barry J. Kemp, "Underneath Ranefer's floors urban environments on the desert edge", Journal of Archaeological Science Volume 37, Issue 3, March 2010, pp. 474-481

© 2005
January 2010