Ancient Egypt: Slaughtering cattle
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Slaughtering cattleThe animal was led by a rope in lieu of a nose ring, often the noose was fastened to the lower lip as well. The butchers tied a rope to one of its legs, passed it over the animal's back and pulled it up. Then the cow was wrestled to the ground, its legs bound together, its head pulled back, and with a hand-long knife  its throat was cut. The blood was collected in shallow vessels.
Much of the slaughtering went on in temple slaughter yards, where the animals offered by the rich were killed
I multiplied the divine offerings presented before thee, of bread, wine, beer, and fat geese; numerous oxen bullocks, calves, cows, white oryxes, and gazelles offered in his slaughter yard.If the animal was butchered in a temple abattoir, a priest would be standing by, supervising and performing ritual acts, like sprinkling the contents of an elongated vessel on the wound.One such priest was the butler Merer
the Sole Companion, Butler and Overseer of the slaughterers of the House of Khuu in its entirety, who says: I was the priest for slaughtering and offering (3) in two temples on behalf of the ruler.
From a butcher shop model: Butchers wielding a hatchet and a cleaver
Source: University of Chicago, Oriental Institute website , extract
With hatchets, cleavers and knives the extremities and the head were cut off, and the animal was skinned. The hind legs were cut into three parts: the thigh (sut), the knee-joint (iuwa) and the foot (inset). Like modern butchers, the Egyptians cut up the carcass according to the quality of the meat, ribs, rump, back etc. Among the innards, the spleen and the liver were especially esteemed.
Relief of butchers slaughtering cattle
they lead the sealed beast to the altar where they happen to be sacrificing, and then kindle a fire: after that, having poured libations of wine over the altar so that it runs down upon the victim and having called upon the god, they cut its throat, and having cut its throat they sever the head from the body. The body then of the beast they flay, but upon the head they make many imprecations first, and then they who have a market and Hellenes sojourning among them for trade, these carry it to the market-place and sell it, while they who have no Hellenes among them cast it away into the river: and this is the form of imprecations which they utter upon the heads, praying that if any evil be about to befall either themselves who are offering sacrifice or the land of Egypt in general, it may come rather upon this head.After the sacrifice they disposed of the rest of the carcass by burial or by throwing it into the Nile.
[ ] Model of abattoir: Pierre Montet La vie quotidienne en Egypte
[ ] The picture of the relief is an excerpt from a photograph taken by Michel Audrain, The Glory of Egypt
 Words connected with butchering like the butcher's knife or the slaughtering block entered the world of simile, aphorism and saying, as in the following maxim from the Instruction of the papyrus Insinger:
A fool wanting to go with a wise man is a goose wanting to go with its slaughter knife.
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