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 Museum Explorer

Birds and beasts in
Ancient Egypt

Group of cattle

Height: 10 cm
Width: 30 cm
Depth: 15.300 cm


Gift of the Egypt Exploration Fund


EA 35506

Group of cattle

From: el-Amra, Egypt
Date: around 3500 BC

This model is of four cattle standing in a row. Black and white were common colours for cattle in ancient Egypt.

Cows were the most widely kept animal in Egypt. They were kept mainly for milk and to pull loads or ploughs (as in the picture underneath). Meat was an unusual treat because cattle were too valuable and useful to kill, although sometimes they were sacrificed to the gods.

Large herds of cattle were kept by the king, noblemen and temples. Hot branding irons were used to mark them with their owner's sign.