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

    These migratory birds spend their winters in Egypt and other warm places in Africa. The region knows three kinds of pelicans the Dalmatian, the Pink-backed and the White. They are big birds with wingspans of almost two metres and feed mostly on fish which they catch using team-work.
    In Egyptian sources pelicans are occasionally mentioned, as in this obscure utterance from the Pyramid texts of Unas:
The Hn'.t-pelican announces; the psD.tj-pelican emerges
PT 254
after a translation on the Thesaurus Linguae Aegyptiae website
    Another passage from the papyrus of Nu which dates to the early New Kingdom, sees the pelican as an enabler:
To be recited by NN:
The doorwings of the heavens stand open for me.
The doorwings of the earth stand open for me.
The bars of Geb stand open for me.
The "[first] palace of the spectator" is open [for me]
He who guarded me has [untied] me.
He who tied his arm to me, has untied his arm.
[/////] mouth of the pelican
The mouth of the pelican is opened for me.
The pelican has caused that I shall go forth during the day to every place where I wish to go.
pBM EA 10477
after a translation on the Thesaurus Linguae Aegyptiae website
 

 
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