#Headline Creation Challenge# Verification of the famous ancient Egyptian mural "Medum Geese"
There are only a few native geese in ancient Egypt, and after expert identification, murals unearthed in Medum depict the gray geese (Anser anser), the red-breasted black goose (branta ruficollis) and the white-fronted goose (Anser albifrons).
Tomb of Ty, Saqqara
M. A. Murray, Saqqara Mastabas, Egyptian Research Account XI, Plate V
Three different geese, from top to bottom, the ancient Egyptians called them Hp-goose, rA-goose, px.t-goose. Among them, only the gray goose in the middle is recognizable, and the picture is vivid and lifelike.
In ancient Egypt, domesticated geese were widely farmed, and their meat and eggs were taken or sacrificed. Goose fat is also occasionally used for lubrication. In the Codex of the Beatty New Testament, it is mentioned that a man offered various sacrifices to his deceased lover,
(In ancient Egyptian beliefs, in order to live a happy life in heaven in the next life, the living need to provide the deceased with all kinds of sacrifices that they need in their next life) In these sacrifices, the phrase "from wild geese (i.e. geese) to doorposts, its fat is the key" implies that goose fat is a precious sacrifice.
Like other domesticated animals, these domesticated geese feed throughout the day along local ponds, canals and lush meadows, filling their sacs, and driving them home at night.
As a "bird of prey" from ancient times to the present, the geese's strong territorial nature makes it the master of the whole house, despite its warlike and mischievous personality. One priest described his students this way:
You are worse than that flock of geese on the shore who have been messing around all day! They spend the summer destroying dates and destroying grain seeds in winter, and these fruits are full of the balance that cultivators spend a year striving for (in ancient Egyptian belief, balance is very important for everything in life, and the success of a thing is closely related to whether it achieves harmony and balance with all things in the universe), and in autumn, these geese never let go of snatching any seed that fell on the ground. No one can scare it with a roar, and no one has ever used it as a sacrifice in a temple. This sharp-eyed flat-haired beast who never works! ”
Papyrus Lansing M. Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, Vol.2 p.169
In ancient Egyptian mythology, it is sometimes equated with the first god of Amun, which is said to have been born from a goose egg. Amon is sometimes even given the image of a goose, similar to Geb and Ptah
When it was first discovered, the painting was so dilapidated that it was almost dying. As a polychrome plaster painting, it is almost a bas-relief, only one-tenth of what remains of the entire fresco. It was stripped off and restored, and now it is the treasure of the Cairo Museum.
Referenced from Ancient Egyptian bestiary: Geese