By Billie Jean Collins
This identify matters man's touch with the animal global: sacrifice, sacred animals, nutrition, and domestication. Chapters on artwork, literature, faith and animal husbandry exhibit an image of the advanced relationships among the peoples of the traditional close to East and (their) animals.
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Extra resources for A History of the Animal World in the Ancient Near East (Handbook of Oriental Studies Handbuch der Orientalistik)
Hippopotami spend much of their time submerged in lakes and rivers, breathing through closeable nostrils located high on the snout so that they often become the only part of the animal that breaks the water's surface. Body pores exude an oily pinkish substance called "blood sweat" that protects the skin during long periods underwater or during nightly excursions on land, where they emerge to graze. Dung, frequently evacuated in the water, pro- 1. THE NATIVE FAUNA 15 vides a rich food source for many fishes, which symbiotically clean the hippopotami of exterior parasites, algal growths, or vegetal residues lodged between the teeth.
Hippopotami have been hunted for flesh, hide, and ivory, and like their suid cousins, the pigs, they are irascible and highly aggressive when disturbed. In the Nile basin, hippos have accounted for more injury and death to humans than have crocodiles. A pygmy hippopotamus (Phanourios minutus] is known to have inhabited Cyprus at the time of the island's initial colonization, but it died out quickly due either to habitat changes or overhunting. The best evidence of its exploitation by humans was uncovered at the unique early Neolithic site of Aetokremnos, near Akrotiri (Simmons et al.
An exhaustive survey of Near Eastern animals would be impossible in a short chapter, and therefore the present contribution builds upon an earlier review (Gilbert 1995) by presenting zoological data on a limited number of mostly mammalian species selected for their intimate connections with human hunting and husbandry, their prominence in modern conservation efforts, their familiarity, or simply their unique adaptations. The discussion continues with a brief consideration of the highly diverse bird life, including data on a number of species culled from the vast ornithological literature of the Near East.
A History of the Animal World in the Ancient Near East (Handbook of Oriental Studies Handbuch der Orientalistik) by Billie Jean Collins