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From an African bestiary to universal science?

Table 2. Eleven systems of knowledge containing animal symbolism

by Wim van Binsbergen


homepage | Part I

 (0) species, object, concept

(1) animal demons world-wide[1]

(2) symbols of Egyptian nomes[2]

(3) major Egyptian gods[3]

(4) figurines in the Chokwe divining basket, Angola, Zambia and Zaire

(5) nomen-clature of Nkoya clans, western central Zambia

(6) nomenclature of Tswana clans, Botswana and South Africa

(7) Chinese zodiac

(8) Chinese lunar mansions

(9) the 36 Babylonian stars

(10) modern international constellations

(11) major Greek gods

abstract concept

 

 

 

lie; imminent misfortune; folly; folded heart (lack of sociability)

 

nleya (= ‘provided with’)

 

space; emptiness; danger; straddling

Death; Mistress of life; Lord of death

 

 

ant-eater, aardvark, pangolin

 

 

 

ant-bear, pangolin

 

ant-bear

 

tapir

 

 

 

antelope, deer

 

U16 (oryx)

Seth, Anukis, Satis (gazelle)

antelope (‘s horn); duiker (‘s hoof)

 

duiker; impala; kudu; reedbuck; eland antelope; hartebeest

 

unicorn, deer

deer

Unicorn; Giraffe

Dionysos, Artemis, Aphrodite, Athene, Apollo

bear

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Bear; Little Bear

Artemis (she-bear)

birds, aquatic

 

L15 (ibis)

Thoth, Chonsu

wild duck (‘s foot); white heron (‘s claw); kingfisher

 

 

 

 

 

Crane, Swan

Hera (kingfisher); Aphrodite, Zeus (swan)

birds, eagle

eagle[4]

 

 

eagle (‘s claw)

 

 

 

 

eagle

Eagle

Zeus

birds, falcon

 

U2, U5, U18?

Horus, Montu, Anti, Antywey / Antaios, Re Horachti, Haroeris, Harmerti, Sokar, Chonsu

(symbolic but not in basket)

 

 

 

 

 

 

[5]

birds, hawk[6]

hawk[7]

 

 

 

hawk

 

 

 

 

 

Apollo

birds, sylvan & general; also bat

 

 

 

laughing-bird(‘s beak); mason bird ( symbolic but not in basket); owl ( symbolic but not in basket); touraco bird; unspecified little bird

 

owl (morubisi, thubisi); red-billed quelea bird; weaver bird; any bird of small or moderate size (nonyane)

 

swallow; crow; bat; bird star

raven; swallow;

Crow; Dove; Toucan; Phoenix

Apollo, Athene, Kronos, Athene (crow or raven); Hera, Zeus (cuckoo); Aphrodite, Zeus (dove); Athene (owl); Herakles, Leto (quail); Aphrodite (swallow); Ares, Zeus (woodpecker)

birds, terrestrial (fowl)

 

U3 (double ostrich feathers)

Amon (goose); Maat, Shu (ostrich feather)

cock (paw); guinea fowl (symbolic but not in basket); partridge

guinea fowl

bustard

cock

pheasant; cock

 

Peacock

Apollo, Athene, Hermes (cock); Apollo, Ares, Hera, Hermes (goose); Hera (peacock)

birds, vulture

vulture[8]

 

Nekhbet, Mut

 

vulture

 

 

 

 

 

Apollo, Ares, Kronos

body parts, animal (mammal)

 

L2 (foreleg of oxen)[9]

 

buck’s rib (or other mammal’s); kneecap, tibia, ear, of unspecified mammal

 

marrow

 

horn; tail; beak; wings

bull’s jaw

 

Athene glaukopis with owl’s eyes; Hera boopis with cow’s eyes,

body parts, human

 

lungs (L17)

Jusas (hand); Min, Amon (penis); Aton (hand at end of ray); sons of Horus (various organs); Mut, Tefnut (sun’s eye)

penis; vagina; heart; folded heart (lack of sociability); woman with distended belly; handicapped person

 

vulva; heart; penis

 

neck; heart; stomach

kidneys

Berenice’s Hair

Aphrodite Comaetho, Cybele (hair); Artemis Orthia= upright, Dionysos lame, Zeus Velchanos= ‘who drags his foot’ (body); Athene glaukopis, Aphrodite peeping, Hera Europia broadly seeing, Hera boopis with cow’s eyes, Herakles Bright-eyed, Hades sightless (eyes); Herakles Nose-docker; Herakles of the Wounded Thigh; Herakles the Dactyl (finger); Hermes (phallus)

bovine

[10]

U11, U10 (black bull); L6, L3 (two-headed bull); L12 (cow with calf)

Buchis, Mnevis, Apis, Chentechtai, Serapis (bull); Hathor (cow)

 

 

ginger ox;

cattle; heifer (tshelwana); buffalo

oxen

oxen

bull

Bull

Poseidon, Artemis Tauropole= ‘bull-killer’ (bull); Hera boopis, with cow’s eyes; Herakles Bouphagos= ‘cow-eater’, Athene (oxen, cow)

canine

dog; wolf[11]

U17, L11

Anubis, Chenti Amentiu, Chent cheti, Wepwewet, Serapis

hunter’s dog

 

wild dog

dog

fox; wolf; dog

wild dog; fox; great dog

Fox; Great Dog; Hunting Dogs; Little Dog; Wolf

Aphrodite, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Zeus (wolf); Artemis (dog)

chameleon

 

 

 

chameleon

 

 

 

 

 

Chameleon

 

colour

 

L10 (black); L1 (white)

Uto =Wadjit (White crown); Nechbet, Satis (red crown); Neith (blue crown); Osiris, Wadjit (green); golden (Re and all gods)

white bead

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aphrodite (dark, black); Apollo, Artemis, Zeus of the White Poplar (white); Athene Chryse (golden); Athene Colocasia = of the red water-lily (red); Zeus (green)

crocodile, dragon

crocodile[12]

U6, L14, L5, L4

Sobek, Chentechtai

(symbolic but not in basket)

 

crocodile (kwena,

Maebu)

dragon

scaled dragon; smooth dragon

 

Dragon

Apollo, Artemis, Athena, Dionysos, Herakles, Hermes, Kronos, Pan, Poseidon, Zeus (fight against)[13]

directions (n, e, S, w)

 

U13, U14, U20, U21, L19, L18 (Anterior/ Posterior); L14 (Eastern); L8, L7 (Eastern/ Western); L5, L4 (Northern/ Southern); R13 (Western)

Chenti Amentiu (West); Tefnut (South); Seth (East); Neith, Uto (North); Nekhbet (South)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Southern Fish; Northern Crown, Southern Cross, Southern Crown

Apollo, Artemis (northern)

drink

 

 

Hathor, Isis (nursing the king)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hebe (ambrosia); Poseidon = ‘he who gives to drink from the wooded mountain’

earth, sand, land

 

Land (U1);Great land (U8);

Re (earth mound in sun temple), Geb

 

 

naga (veld / penis)

 

basis

field; mistress of the enemy-land

 

Rhea (earth); Poseidon (earthquakes); Zeus (mount of earth on top of Mt. Lukaios); Pan (pasture)

elephant

 

 

 

 

elephant

elephant

 

 

 

 

 

equine

horse[14]

 

Seth (ass)

 

 

zebra

horse

horse

 

Centaur; Foal; Pegasus

Ares, Herakles Horse-binder, Athene, Poseidon (horse)

feline

lion; cf. Sinhika; panther[15]

[16]

Mehit, Tefnut, Pachet, Horus lord of Mesen, Shu Anhuret, Ma-hesa, Sakhmet (lion); Bastet (cat)

lion or leopard’s claw or tooth

lion

lion; leopard (nkwe); predator (sebata)

tiger

tiger; leopard

lion; panther

Little Lion; Lion; Lynx

Artemis, Hekate (cat); Dionysos (leopard); Cybele, Herakles (lion)

fish (also dolphin, whale)

fish[17]

Lepidotos (L16); unspecified fish (L15); Tilapia[18] (L4, L5); oxyrynchos (U19)

Neith (Tilapia fish); Hatmehit (‘first of the fishes’); Shu (Lepidotos fish); Atum (eel)

electrical fish’s vertebra

 

barbel

any kind of fish

 

 

fish

Dolphin; Fishes; Flying Fish; Sea-goat; Southern Fish; Swordfish; Whale

Aphrodite the Fish; Poseidon, Apollo (dolphin)

frog

 

 

Hekat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aphrodite

gastropod

 

belemnite (U9)

Min (belemnite)

cowry; snail’s shell; mother-of-pearl shell of long snail

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aphrodite (Cypraea =cowry)

hare

 

U15 (hare, female hare)

Unut

hare’s tail or paw

 

hare

hare

hare

 

Hare

 

hippopotamus

hippopotamus[19]

 

Taweret

 

 

hippopotamus

 

 

 

 

 

humans and gods

 

prince (L19, 18); ‘ruler of Anzeti’ (L13); Anzeti (L9)

 

nuclear family (father, mother, child); Jinga fertility archetype; spirit of mask dancer; male ancestor; female ancestor; slave; child; human being; couple; wailing-woman; handicapped person; sorcerer; woman with distended belly; polluting spirits of the wild; group of people on their way; spirit associated with menstruation and conception; forest spirit; Suku protective archetype; Cisola fertility archetype; sick child; the double person (who treacherously incites conflict); true witness; hunter’s spirit

spear-hunter

 

 

virgin; demons

 

 

 

old man; Anunitu; faithful herdsman of Anu; twins; Shulpa’e; great twins; Shu.pa; Ninmah; EN.TE.NA.BAR.UM; king; mouth-opening demon; Numu?da; Damu; Marduk; hired labourer; king of the sky-gods; Enlil; ...of Sharur; Enlil; Ishtar mistress of the enemy-land; herald; Great...; Ishtaran, Anu; [...] of Enlil; [Sin (moon)] and Nergal; Mistress; Anu, Enlil, Ea, all three (?); Lord of Death; Lord (?) Shamash [ sun ] ; Queen of the Igigi-gods; Queen of the Igigi-gods; Enlil (?); Goddess of heaven and earth; King, Lord of the Igigi-gods; Mistress of Haruspicy; Lord of the Sources, Ea; Dwelling of Anu; Hero among the Igigi-gods; the two gods Adad and Marduk; Mistress of Life; The three gods (?), Ea; Lord who kills; King of the Igigi-gods

Andromeda; Archer; Cassiopeia; Cepheus; Charioteer; Hercules; Herdsman; Indian; Orion; Painter; Perseus; Sculptor; Serpent-bearer; Twins; Virgin; Water-bearer

Aphrodite the Stranger; Apollo the Hunter; Persuasive Artemis; Artemis Saviour; Athene Mother; Dionysos Saviour; Herakles= ‘glory of Hera’; Athene Guardian; Herakles Saviour; Herakles Victor; Leto= ‘lady’; Ares= ‘male warrior’; Earth= ‘Mother’; Zeus Deliverer; Zeus Morios= ‘distributor’; Zeus Preserver; Zeus Reliever; Zeus Saviour

hyena

 

 

 

 

hyena

hyena

 

 

 

 

 

insect, spider, centipede (, arthropods)

 

L4?, L5? (bee); U18 (centipede)

Chopri (beetle); Sepa (centipede)

insect nest made out of wood; insect’s external skeleton; piece of a termite-hill; praying mantis (its egg depository)

 

 

bee?

locust

 

 

 

Bee, Fly

Apollo Parnopios (locust); Artemis, Demeter, Rhea (bee); Herakles Cornopion (locust); Herakles Ipoctonos (grub-killer); Zeus Averter of Flies; Athene (spider)

lizard

 

 

 

lizard (riverine )

 

 

lizard

 

 

 

Lizard

 

luxuries (incl. precious stones)

 

 

Hathor, Ihi (menat[20]; Uto (White crown); Nechbet, Satis (red crown); Neith (blue crown)

white bead

regalia?

tobacco;

wealth; iron

 

 

 

Northern Crown, Southern Cross, Southern Crown

Dionysos Plutodotes; Athene Chryse, golden

monkey, baboon

 

 

Thoth

baboon (front-paw)

 

kgabo (ape); tshwene (baboon); = kgano

(meercat)

monkey

monkey; monkey

 

 

 

mountain, wilderness

 

U12 (snake mountain);L6

Re, Seth, Nephthys

 

 

 

 

hill

 

 

Aphrodite Urania = ‘queen of the mountains’; Poseidon = ‘he who gives to drink from the wooded mountain’; Zeus Acraios = ‘of the summit’

ovines[21]

goat[22]

 

Chnum, Amon, Harsaphes / Herishef (ram)

 

goat

goat; sheep

sheep

sheep; he-goat

goat

Ram

Aphrodite Epitragia = - ‘turned into a he-goat’; Goatish Athene, Artemis, Dionysos, Pan, Zeus nursed by Amaltheia, Hera Goat-eating (goat); Hermes Ram-bearer, Pan, Zeus Sabazios (ram)

pig, wild boar

boar[23]

U11 (Seth animal)

Seth

wild pig’s tooth

 

pig

pig

pig

 

 

Zeus nursed by a sow

porcupine

 

 

 

porcupine

 

porcupine

 

porcupine

 

 

 

river, spring, lake, sea

 

 

Osiris, Hapi (Nile); Tefnut (moisture); Neith, Wadjit, Seth (sea)

 

 

 

 

source

Lord of the sources, Ea; Goddess of the sources

River; Water-bearer

Poseidon (sea); Aphrodite (foam-born); Artemis Lady of the Lake; Artemis = ‘? high source of water’; Orpheus = ‘? ophruoeis’ of the river bank’

scorpion, crab

scorpion[24]

 

Selket = Selkis

 

 

 

 

 

scorpion, crab

Crab; Scorpion

 

shrew, ichneumon, honey badger, mouse, rat

 

 

Atum, Haroeris, Harmerti (ichneumon/ shrew)

mouse (symbolic value but not in divining basket); honey badger(‘s nail)

 

 

rat

marten; rat

 

 

Apollo Smintheus (mice / rats); Hekate (weasel)

sky and celestial bodies, including stars

 

 

Hathor, Haroeris (sky); Chonsu, Osiris, Thoth (moon); Horus (the moon and sun as his eyes); Nut (moon’s mother); sons of Horus (stars); Nut (stars’ mother); Amon, Re, Hathor, Atum, Aton, Re-Harakhte, Harmachis (sun); Nut (sun’s mother)

moon

rain

 

 

Pleiades; Orion; Bird Star

Venus; stars; Mars; great star; brilliant star of stars; [Sin (moon)] and Nergal; Lord (?) Shamash [ sun ] ; weapon, star of...; Goddess of heaven and earth; the planet Mars

 

Apollo, Eos (dawn); Solar Apollo, Helios, Solar Zeus (sun); Artemis Alpheia, Selene (moon); Artemis Anacitis = ‘of the planet Venus’; Zeus (bright sky); Celestial Herakles; Athena, Zeus (thunderbolt)

snake

snake; cf. Nagas, Indian snake-demons[25]

U10 (snake); U12 (mountain snake)

Uto, Apophis, Meretseger, Naunet, Thermouthis/ Renenutet,

snake spirit; snake’s head

 

snake

snake

snake; worm

snake

Little Snake, Serpent, Water-snake

Herakles Ophioktonos, serpent-killing; [ Zeus] Sabazios (snake)

stone (non-precious), rock

 

 

Atum (benben stone)

pebbles

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apollo of the White Rock; Hermes = ‘cairn or pillar’; Leto = ‘stone’

technology, including smoke

 

bow (U1); balance post (U2); sceptre (U4, U19); sistrum (U7); relic shrine (U8); flint knife (U22); harpoon (L8, L7); shield (L5, L4); house (L20)

Satet (bow and arrows); Anat (shield, battle-axe); Anzeti (switch, flail); Chnum (potter’s wheel); Isis (throne); Meshenet (birth tile); Neith (shield, [ bow ] and arrows); Reshef (battle-axe, lance, shield); Aker, Sechet (field); Serapis (corn measure); Unut (knives)

boat; drum; mortar; head-rest; night-gun[26]; hoe; bellows; bracelet; path; wooden arrow point; iron arrow point; knife of power;[27] bier; baby carrying sling; basket; woman’s utensils; houses with breached walls to take deceased outside; lock; tally; grave; any object due to European presence in the region; piece of glass or mica; coin; piece of European china (crockery); European bell; bullet

beehive; bell; fish spear?; tinder-box?; bull-roarer?; sparkler?;[28] reed-mat?; peg?; fire-bore?; smoke

clay-pit;

trench;

milling vessel

 

winnowing basket; spoon; house; wall; net; bow; coach

plough; arrow; bow; cart; balance; arrow; weapon, star of...; Mistress of Haruspicy; Dwelling of Anu

Air pump; Altar; Arrow; Balance; Clock; Compasses; Cup; Furnace; Keel; Lyre; Mariner’s Compass; Microscope; Net; Octant; Poop; Rule; Sails; Sculptor’s Tools ; Sextant; Shield; Southern Triangle; Table; Telescope; Triangle

 

Hephaestus (general); Aphrodite Epitymbria = ‘of the tombs’; Federal Aphrodite; Aphrodite Schoenis = ‘of the rush-basket’; Apollo of the Embarcations; Athene Girder-on-of-Arms, Warlike Athene, Warlike Zeus (arms); Artemis Cordax = ‘of the rope dance’; Artemis Dictynna = ‘of the net’; Artemis Eileithyia (midwife); Artemis the hanged one; Artemis the Huntress; Artemis Tridaria = ‘threefold assigner of lots’; Artemis Trivia = ‘of the three ways’; Athene Alea = ‘she who grinds’; Athene Polias, Herakles Melkarth (protector of the city); Athene Skiras (parasol); Cybele, Zeus Labradian (axe); Apollo, Artemis (bow, arrow, quiver); Athena (breastplate); Herakles (club); Zeus (god of the assembly); Zeus, Hestia (hearth); Herakles Ogmios, of the Ogams (a script); Herakles the Healer; Hermes (herald’s staff); Apollo, Hermes, Orpheus (lyre); Apollo (omphalos); Pan (shepherd’s pipe; Hermes (shepherd’s staff); Ares (spear); Three Fates, Athene (spinning, weaving); Poseidon (trident); Apollo (tripod); Hermes (winged hat); Zeus of the Courtyard

tortoise

 

 

 

tortoise

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aphrodite, Apollo, Hermes, Pan

trees and plants[29]

 

U13, U14 Atf, sycamore?); U20, 21 (ntf, granade?); L20

Hathor (sycamore); Uto (papyrus plant); Nefertem (lotus); Osiris, Nepri (corn)

fruits and grains of red maize; Brachystegia tree; raffia palm; gourd (the fruit); a climbing plant; madder; Cannarium tree; Schrebera tree; Elaeis guineensis palm; Parinari tree; Swarzia madagascariensis plant; Abrus precatorius / canescens plant; Vangueriopsis lanciflora; little bundle of sticks[30]; fragment of mushroom with natural perforations; white mushroom

firewood; wood suitable for carving; kindling (out of mushroom)

pumpkin

 

willow

 

 

Aphrodite Erycina = ‘of the heather’; Aphrodite Schoenis, of the rush-basket; Apollo, Herakles Melon (apple); Artemis Caryatis = ‘of the walnut’; Artemis Hyacinthropos (hyacinth); Athene Colocasia, of the red water-lily; Athene Itone, Hera Hellotis, Artemis Lygodesma (willow); Demeter = ‘barley-mother’; Helios (heliotrope); Apollo, Artemis (laurel); Aphrodite (myrtle); Zeus (oak); Athene (olive tree); Apollo (palm tree); Persephone, Hera (pomegranate); Zeus of the White Poplar



[1] Fontenrose, Python, o.c.

[2] The data as tabulated were largely derived from: Roeder, G., 1952, Volksglaube im Pharaonenreich, Stuttgart: Spemann. U = Upper, L = Lower Egyptian nome. No ancient animal association recorded, to my knowledge, for L17.

[3] Ancient Egyptian animal symbolism was recently surveyed in: Houlihan, P.F., 1996, The animal world of the pharaohs, London: Thames & Hudson. He bases himself especially on the extensive studies in this field which have made up the life’s work of Leo Keimer, of which he gives a full bibliography. These publications can inspire further studies on the topic explored in the present paper; however, here again I have had to limit the number of authoritative sources to those specified.

[4] Fontenrose, Python, o.c.: themes A2842, D152.2 (index A, 11).

[5] Falcon associations do not occur in the context of the major Greek gods. However, the name of Circe, the island sorceress in the Odyssea, means ‘falcon’.

[6] Gardiner, Grammar, o.c., p. 467f), brings out that hawk  (Gardiner sign G1, phonetic value tyw) and Egyptian vulture  (Gardiner sign G4, phonetic value 3, ? a, al, ar) are often indistinguishable, contrary to the falcon  (Gardiner sign G5, ?Hr, i.e. Horus) which is so conspicuous in Egyptian religion.

[7] Fontenrose, Python, o.c.: theme D152.1 (index A, II).

[8] Fontenrose, Python, o.c.: theme D152.3 (index A, II).

[9] Foreleg of oxen, khpsh or dww, , Gardiner sign F23; also in use to designate the constellation of Ursa Major, Mskhtyw, whose apparent shape (which despite all stars’ proper motion, being minute, has not noticeably changed since pharaonic times) corresponds with the hieroglyph and with the oxen foreleg it depicts:

[10] Fontenrose, Python, o.c.: bull (theme D133.2; (index A, 11).

[11] Fontenrose, Python, o.c.: dog (theme 118, G211.1.8); wolf (theme D113.1, 113.1.1; index A, 11).

[12] Fontenrose, Python, o.c.: 183-185,187,190, 208.

[13] None of these were dragons, but all fought dragons.

[14] Fontenrose, Python, o.c.: theme F471.1 (index A, 11).

[15] Fontenrose, Python, o.c.: lion (theme B8712.5, D112.1; index A, 11; 207; cf. Sinhika is the Indian lion-demoness); panther (theme D112.4; index A, II).

[16] It is remarkable that none of the ancient Egyptian nomes has a feline-associated ensign; however, many nomes do have major gods (see Table 2 column (2)) with such associations.

[17] Fontenrose, Python, o.c.: theme G308 (index A, 11).

[18] Sacred to the goddess Neith.

[19] Fontenrose, Python, o.c.: theme B8712.4 (index A, 11). The hippopotamus does not appear in the astronomical material of our data set outside Egypt. The fabulous animal, often winged, that features prominently in some very late Egyptian zodiacs and whose head and bodily stance are reminiscent of familiar representations of Taweris the pregnant female hippopotamus, on closer examination turns out to be a crocodile; e.g. the Dendera pronaos which dates from Nero’s time, middle first century CE (Description, 1997, Description de l’Egypte: Publiee par les ordres de Napoleon Bonaparte, edition complete, Koln etc.: Taschen, pp. 402-403); the zodiac of the great temple of num at Esna, which dates from a few decades later (cf. Description, o.c., pp. 131-132; and the zodiac of the northern temple at Esna, dating from the late third century BCE (Description, o.c., pp. 141-142). Neither does the hippopotamus appear as part of the much older zodiac depicted in the tomb of Seti I (c. 1300 BCE), which does feature falcon/ Horus, lion, bull, Re, crocodile (the smaller second crocodile is an hieroglyphic sign, Gardiner no. I5), and a claw or hoof, and water, as further hieroglyphic signs, notably Aa7 and N35).

Diagram 10. The zodiac as depicted in the tomb of Seti I (c. 1300 BCE)

(Picture source: Grolier, Encyclopedia, o.c.: Egypt, ancient / picture ‘tomb painting depicting the constellations’).

 

[20] Ornamental collar.

[21] Both in contemporary sub-Saharan Africa, and in ancient Egypt, sheep and goat cannot be clearly distinguished, neither anatomically nor genetically.

[22] Fontenrose, Python, o.c.: theme B24, D134 (index A 11).

[23] Fontenrose, Python, o.c.: theme B871.1.2 (index A, 11).

[24] Fontenrose, Python, o.c.: theme B8732 (index A’, 11).

[25] Fontenrose, Python, o.c.: theme 203f., 208, 491, 498, Theme 3a (index A 1); A6712.1, A876, B11to B11.12.1 B29.2, D950.0.1, F541.1.4 (index A, 11); cf. Nagas, Indian snake-demons.

[26] A sorcery apparatus in South Central and Southern Africa: a gun made of a human thighbone, to be fired at night at one’s enemy’s dwelling, in order to cause fatal illness.

[27] The ancient Egyptian knive: ds , Gardiner sign T30, initially made of flint, has virtually the same shape as the Cokwe figurine. I take this to suggest that a common origin underlies the use of this symbol in both cultures, and that this origin is pre-metallurgy Neolithic or earlier.

[28] A little metal thong within a tinder-box, which when scraped against a piece of flint produces the spark that sets linted mushroom kindling afire.

[29] Here we omit one row which was only specified for Greek mythology: category = ‘unspecified’; listed under this category: ‘Artemis Lady of the Wild Things’.

[30] Although isolated in our peculiarly selective data set, the item has remarkably close parallels in other bundles of twigs in cultures North of Africa: the ancient Persion baresman, the most sacred item in Zoroastrian ritual, and in the ancient Italic fasces; cf. Mills, L.H., & Gray, L.H., 1908-1921, ‘baresman (Av. baresom)’, in: Hastings, J., with Selbie, J.A., & Gray, L.H., eds., Encyclopaedia of religions and ethics, 13 vols., Edinburgh/ New York: Clark/ Scribner, II: 424-425; Schrot, G., 1979, ‘Lictores’, in: Ziegler, K., & Sontheimer, W., eds., Der kleine Pauly: Lexikon der Antike. Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, cols. III: 645-646.

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