ancient egypt: history and culture
Ancient Egyptian bestiary: Turtles and tortoises
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Turtles and tortoises

Turtle; Source: Website of Francesco Raffaele
    Nile turtles were hunted both for their meat and their shells, which were used as containers and sound boxes of musical instruments and served as raw material for jewellery. They do not figure in offering lists.
    The turtle was seen as the great enemy of the sungod Re, his abomination, kA-mnH.[1] In the slaughter of the turtle the king in the guise of Onuris kills a turtle in front of Re. Magical formulas such as
Re shall live, the turtle shall die
were written on coffins during the New Kingdom. And Thoth says in the Book of the Dead
Behold, with strength I force
my access to the sundisk...
Truly, Re lives!
The turtle is dead.

[1] Wb 5, 96.9

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-Turtles in Predynastic and Early Dynastic Egypt by Francesco Raffaele
© 2002
October 2009