Among many ancient Egyptian facts, there are 2 unbelievable facts about ancient Egyptian culture, which are:
The fact about Possession of animals and zoo
Taming wild animals was not a strange habit for the Egyptians.
As we have a hunting scene dated back to the Old kingdom representing lions and lionesses in big crated with string bars in front of their owner.
We also know that Ramses II owned a tamed lion, which followed him like a dog and accompanied him the battle field.
He also introduced to Egypt some strange animals like bears, and elephants from foreign countries, and kept then in zoo like sites, elephants, giraffes and birds, where cages and nests were prepared in such a way to provide them with atmospheres similar to their habitats, and ensure their preservation.
Possessing animals during the Mamluk Dynasty
Meanwhile, we can conclude from a sarcastic sort of a poem written by “unknown critic”, dated back to the reign of the Mameluk Sultan Al-Nasser Mohammed Ibn Qalawon.
We know that the Sultan had kept in his Custody the elephants for riding, the matter which was uncommon in Egypt, and he probably possessed them in a private zoo.
The poem summarized the story of “Marzouk” the elephant which caused the collapse of one Al-Fakhr Barrage in Bulak District under its heavy weight.
The story started when the Sultan boys were roaming the city with the elephant and saw an old religious man with a scarf.
As the Sultans men nobody dared to stop them or to prevent their irresponsible deeds. The Sheikh raised his hands toward the sky, and his curse followed them and their elephants.
The text says:
- Oh, people come and listen to this incidence that took place.
- On Monday when the elephant fell on the barrage.
- The elephant boys were roaming in Bulak.
- When they saw a Sheikh who is definitely one of the Slaves of Allah.
- They stole his scarf using their power and authority as Sultan’s men.
- However, the Curse of the Sheikh caused the elephant to fall on the barrage.
- I told the elephant oh, Marzuk, the pitch dark animal, what happened.
- Once a time, you were the most fearful beast in the Sultan’s zoo.
Accordingly, the temptation to posses and raise animals in zoo-like sites was in existence since the Ancient Egyptian Dynasties, the Mameluk period, and still the tradition survives nowadays.
Culture of ancient Egypt: Writing names of the household owners on the house doors
Mahia Bey (a 16th century Turkish poet) has a poem entitled Youssef and Zulaikha-stating that when Zulaikha, who was the daughter of the king Morocco, had arrived to Egypt and set her eyes on the picture of the Governor (Aziz) of Egypt on the door of his palace.
She realized that this man would not be hers, and she would be for someone else since he (the Aziz) was not the one she used to see in her dreams.
It is amazing to know that the poet was right as proved later by incidences.
The door leaf of the houses in Ancient Egypt was ornamented with the picture of master of the household, while worshipping the sun and inscriptions showing his name, titles, and religious sentences he uttered in prayers.
Meanwhile, the custom of writing the names on the hoses still survives until the present time.
Egypt culture: Writing names on the house door during Islamic ages
Continued in the Islamic Ages, as an example we had Gamal El-Din Zahaby (1047 A.H. 1637 A.D) where the name of the builder and date of construction was written on the frieze of the roof.
Another example is Gayer Anderson House which was built in 1043 A.D. by Haji Mohammed Salem Ben Gelmam Al-Jazar.
Most of these facts about ancient Egypt culture still survive until the present time.