Wild Ass Tamed, Buried with Egyptian King

This video shows 2005 donkey riding to the valley of the kings, Luxor, Egypt.

From LiveScience:

Wild Ass Tamed, Buried with Egyptian King

By Jeanna Bryner, LiveScience Staff Writer

posted: 10 March 2008 5:00 pm ET

One of the earliest Egyptian kings carried his “beasts of burden” into the afterlife. Paleoscientists discovered the skeletons of 10 donkeys nestled in three mud graves dating back 5,000 years ago when Egypt was just forming a state.

The donkey skeletons were discovered in 2003 lying on their sides in graves at a burial complex of one of the first pharaohs at Abydos, Egypt, which is about 300 miles (480 kilometers) south of Cairo.

“There have been very few funerary complexes of the first pharaohs ever found,” said Fiona Marshall, an anthropologist at Washington University in St. Louis, “and nobody expected that in some of the highest status graves there would be donkeys; you normally have high courtiers or nobles.” …

The importance of the donkey haulers is supported by the skeletons’ burial location. The researchers speculate the donkeys were associated with the tomb of either King Narmer or King Aha. King Narmer is known for unifying Upper and Lower Egypt and creating the world’s first nation-state.

“It certainly suggests they were of very great importance to the pharaoh and the early Egyptian state,” Marshall said. “It’s very likely that having land-based transport of this kind actually helped to integrate the state, which was the world’s first and earliest nation-state.”

See also here about this new research on donkey domestication. And here.

3 thoughts on “Wild Ass Tamed, Buried with Egyptian King

  1. Rare wild Cyprus donkey seen threatened
    Wed Apr 2, 2008 11:39am EDT

    NICOSIA (Reuters) – Conservationists who found 10 wild donkeys shot dead in northern Cyprus said on Wednesday the rare breed could disappear entirely if hunters continued to shoot them for sport.

    Environmentalists in the Karpas region believe many more of the brown donkeys had been killed since a 2003 study counted some 800 living in the wild.

    “Hunters are shooting at them for fun and farmers are killing them because they damage their crops,” said Dogan Sahir, head of the Turkish Cypriot branch of the Green Action Group.

    The north Cyprus environmental ministry said a new count would be carried out in the wake of the killings.

    Locals alerted Huseyin Yorganci, a local activist, to the hunting.

    “There are many more out there, but we have only been able to reach ten by car,” he told Reuters. “Locals phoned us and told us dead donkeys were being found in the area and warned that if we didn’t act quickly there would soon be none left.”

    The donkeys normally shy away from human contact. The breed is believed to be unique because it has managed to survive in the wild unassisted by humans since escaping from owners hundreds of years ago.

    (Reporting by Simon Bahceli, editing by Chloe Fussell)

    © Reuters 2008


  2. who discovery this?
    and why is archaeologically significant discovery?
    provide any other interested information.
    can u please help me answer this question because i really need to know this i got exam next week
    thank you so much


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