The Cat in Ancient Egypt

9780812297195: Paperback
Release Date: 22nd November 2019

90 color, 21 b/w illus.

Dimensions: 197 x 254

Number of Pages: 144

Edition: Second Edition

University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.

The Cat in Ancient Egypt

Revised and updated edition

Paperback / £18.99

True aristocrat of domestic animals, the cat has a distinguished ancestry. Most modern cats are thought to be descended from the cats of ancient Egypt, so these beautiful and engaging creatures represent a living link between ancient Egyptian civilization and our own times.

Wild cats were probably domesticated at least as early as 2000 BC, but they were regularly represented in Egyptian tomb paintings only some 500 years later, in the New Kingdom. The cat became one of the most important and highly esteemed animals in Egypt, revered as a manifestation of the goddess Bastet. Representations of cats are found in painting, sculpture, papyri, jewellry, ostraca and coffins throughout Egypt, and large numbers of mummified cats were buried during the Late Period. Drawing on this vast range of sources, Jaromir Malek examines the significance of cats in Egyptian life, religion, and art.

With 90 color and 21 black and white illustrations.

''The definitive account of the feline in Egypt.''—Cats

''Cat lovers' . . . horizons will surely be expanded by Jaromir Malek's fascinating book.''—Financial Times


True aristocrat of domestic animals, the cat has a distinguished ancestry. Most modern cats are thought to be descended from the cats of ancient Egypt, so these beautiful and engaging creatures represent a living link between ancient Egyptian civilization and our own times.

Wild cats were probably domesticated as early as 2000 BC, but they were regularly represented in Egyptian tomb paintings only some 500 years later, in the New Kingdom. The cat became one of the most important and highly esteemed animals in Egypt, revered as a manifestation of the goddess Bastet. Representations of cats are found in painting, sculpture, papyri, jewelry, ostraca, and coffins throughout Egypt, and large numbers of mummified cats were buried during the Late Period. Drawing on this vast range of sources, Jaromir Malek examines the significance of cats in Egyptian life, religion, and art.

Jaromir Malek is the former editor of the Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Reliefs, and Paintings and Keeper of the Archive at the Griffith Institute, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford University.

Jaromir Malek is the former editor of the Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Reliefs and Paintings, and Keeper of the Archive at the Griffith Institute, Oxford.

"The definitive account of the feline in Egypt."—Cats

"Cat lovers' . . . horizons will surely be expanded by Jaromir Malek's fascinating book."—Financial Times