ancient egypt: history and culture
Ancient Egyptian bestiary: Reptiles
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Lizard and quail
Lizard and quail
Source: W.S.Smith, Country Life in Ancient Egypt, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
    The Egyptians' attitude toward reptilians was more ambivalent than toward any other animal class. Crocodiles and many snake species (cobras, vipers) are highly dangerous, and were therefore, like most wild animals, often connected with the chaotic realm of Seth. On the other hand their destructive power was frequently invoked in the defence of humans and their institutions.
    Turtles and tortoises, while not very dangerous to man, were prevented from hurting the sun by magical formulas.
    Lizards and geckos were used in medicine and chameleons were occasionally represented.

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February 2014