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“our” cat

An unofficial member of our team is a young cat, which has adopted the crew working in the palace as a source of entertainment and (mostly) food. He lives in the excavation house that was built next to the palace by the University of Pennsylvania Expedition in the 1970’s, and was later much enlarged by the French (which is why everyone calls it the French House).

The cat generally saunters out to greet us in the morning and then again when we have a bunch break at 10:00 a.m., when he rather impatiently demands any uneaten hard- boiled eggs. The rest of his day is spent chasing the birds that flit around the site, lolling under the shade of a palm tree or sidling up to people, particularly the ones who are either allergic to, or not very fond of cats!

Our small friend has a striped ‘tabby’ coat, exactly like the ancient Egyptian representations of cats. The cat was first domesticated in the ancient Middle East and was particularly revered in pharaonic Egypt. The ancient Egyptian name for cat was mau and it was a pet frequently represented in tombs and temples. Because of their value in catching snakes and rodents, cats were an integral part of households and the cat goddess, Bastet, became associated with the protection of the home and of the women who lived there. …

[Ed. Note:  The archaeologists who run this blog are excavating the 18th Dynasty king Amenhotep III's palace, now known as Malqata or Malkata.  Oh, and do click and embiggen the pics of this elegant creature  :)   ]

(via Dig Cat « iMalqata)

Reposted bycatsmondkroetedfyxrdr
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