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The camel was certainly known in the Predynastic Period, for the head of an earthenware figure of one was found at Abydos a few years ago ; but this animal cannot have been used for transport purposes, or bred by the early Dynastic Egyptians, for otherwise we should find pictures of him on the walls of the tombs. One of the earliest mentions of the camel is contained in the “ Travels of an Egyptian ” (Brit. Mus. Papyrus No. 10,247), where we find the Semitic word for
port pago; but this animof one was foueriod,
The camel plays no part in Egyptian mythology. The commonest beast of burden was the ass, which was bred in large numbers, and was employed like oxen for treading out the corn and for riding. One of the desert caravans of Her-Khuf, an old feudal lord of Elephantine under the VIth dynasty, contained 300 asses. The ass was admired for his strength, endurance, and virility, and he appears in Egyptian mythology as a form of the Sun-god. Sheep and goats were always bred in large numbers. The horse may have been known in Egypt in the XIIth dynasty, but he was not bred there until the experience gained by the Egyptians in their Asiatic campaigns showed them his value in military operations. Horses must have been
Flint Cow's head. plentiful in Egypt under the XXIInd
[No. 86, Table-case M, dynasty, “ for Solomon had horses Third Egyptian Room.] "brought out of Egypt,” and “a chariot "came up and went out of Egypt, for six hundred shekels “of silver, and an horse for an hundred and fifty” (1 Kings x, 28, 29). Excellent representations of horses are seen in the wall-painting in Standard-case D in the Third Egyptian Room, and in the battle-scene of Rameses II on the South Wall of the Fourth Egyptian Room, above the cases.
The pig is not often represented on the monuments, but a painting in a tomb at Thebes shows that swine were used on farms for treading out the corn. From a very early period the god of evil, Set, was believed to have appeared in the form of a “ black pig" 8 5 when he smote the Eye of Horus (i.e., the Sun). The gods then decreed that pigs
should be sacrificed to Horus, with bulls, sheep, and goats In one form of the Judgment Scene the pig is the emblem of evil, and also in the Book of the Dead (see Chapters XXXVI and CXII). On the other hand, the sow was an animal sacred to Isis, and small figures of sows were worn as amulets attached to necklaces. (See the figures of sacred animals in Wall-case No. 121 in the Third Egyptian Room.) Under the early dynasties a species of ram, which became the symbol of the god Khnemu ħ, with flat horns projecting at right angles from the sides of his head !, was common in Nubia, but it appears to have died out before the end of the XIIth dynasty. Another kind of ram 35, apparently indigenous to Nubia, becaine the symbol of the god Amen of the Sûdân.
The principal instrument used in farming was the plough Ne, the share of which was made of a piece of wood tied to a long pole ; at the other end of the pole was fixed a bar, which was made fast to the horns of the cows which drew the plough. This primitive instrument was little more than a stout stake tied to a pole which was drawn over the ground, and made a very shallow furrow. The stiff Nile mud was further broken up by the hoe , of which examples may be seen in the Wall-case No. 102 in the Third Egyptian Room (No. 281, etc.). As soon as the fields were ready to receive the sced, the sowing took place, and when the seed had been cast into the furrows it was trodden in by the animals on the farm being driven over it. The sowing was done by hand, and no drill appears to have been used. The fields were watered either by allowing the water to flow from a large basin or reservoir on to them, or by machines which lifted the water from the canal to their level, or from the Nile itself. The commonest water-raising machine resembled the modern shâdûf, which was worked by one or two men. Two stout stakes were driven firmly into the ground at the edge of the stream, and between thein was tied a long pole, heavily weighted with a mass of mud or stone at one end. To the end of the longer half of the pole a rope and a leather bucket were tied. The labourer drew the pole down until the bucket entered the stream, and the weight of the counterpoise at the other end helped him to raise the water to the surface of the field, where he poured it into the channel leading to the growing crop.
At the harvest the crops were cut with the small sickles (see Table-case K in Third Egyptian Room, Nos. 1-4), which in primitive times was made of Aint or a series of Aints set in a wooden frame , and in later times of iron or bronze. The wheat or barley was tied up into small bundles by the reapers, and carried to the threshing floor, where the grain was trodden out by animals—donkeys, swine, etc. The threshing floor, as we may see from the wall paintings and pictures on papyri, was circular in form, and its edges were raised, D1, thus preventing the animals, as they ran round and round in it, from scattering the grain with their feet. The operations of ploughing, reaping, and treading out the corn are well illustrated by the Vignette No. 35, from the Ani Papyrus. (See Standard-case G in the Third Egyptian Room.) When the grain had been trodden out, it was thrown up by hand into heaps, the wind blowing away the chaff whilst it was in the air. It was next carried in baskets, or bags, to the store or granary, which was usually near the house. Here it was either piled up in heaps on mud stands with raised edges h, or poured into large bins built in the walls along a rectangular courtyard. (See the models of granaries in Standard-case C in the Fourth Egyptian Room.)
Trade.—The trade of Egypt appears to have been chiefly in the hands of the seafaring folk of the Delta, who probably worked the imports and exports of the country in connection with the Semitic merchants who traded in the seaports of Phoenicia and the Mediterranean generally. The chief export of Egypt was corn, which was carried all over the Mediterranean, and we know from Genesis, xii, xli-xliii, that when grain was scarce in other countries, the merchants were in the habit of going to Egypt to supply their wants. At intervals, however, serious famines came upon Egypt (Genesis xli, 55, 56), and when corn could not be imported, the mortality among the people was very great. In the reign of Ptolemy III (B.C. 247) there was a famine in Egypt, and the King expended much gold in purchasing grain at a high price to save the lives of the people of Egypt, and he caused corn to be brought to Egypt from Eastern Syria, and Phoenicia, and Cyprus. Next in importance came the linen of Egypt, which, in the form of byssus, was famous throughout Western Asia. Under the XVIIIth dynasty considerable quantities of gold were exported from Egypt to Northern Syria, Assyria and Babylonia. The gold came from the Eastern Sûdân and Punt, where at that time (B.C. 1500) it was produced in such large quantities that Tushratta writing to Amen-hetep III says: “Send me so much “gold that it cannot be nieasured, more gold than that thou "didst send to my father; for in my brother's land (i.e., Egypt), “gold is as common as dust"! (Tell al-Amarna tablet, No. 8.) According to Diodorus (ed. Didot, p.41) Rameses II received from his gold and silver mines in one year metal to the value of 32,000,000 minas, or £80,000,000 sterling. Another article of export was paper manufactured from papyrus.
Among the imports may be mentioned copper and tin from Cyprus and Northern Syria, cedar wood from the Lebanon Mountains, lapis-lazuli paste from Babylonia, myrrh and spices for embalming, skins, cattle, ebony, ostrich feathers, bows, pillows, chairs, couches, fans, mats, shields, etc., from the Sûdân ; and a number of the products of India and Arabia must have found their way into Egypt by means of the caravans which crossed the desert to some place near the modern Suez or Kantarah, and some sea-borne goods entered Egypt by the route from the Red Sea to the Nile, viá Kusêr and Kena. The importance of Egypt as a trading centre, and as the natural market half-way between the East and the West, was not fully recognized until the Ptolemaïc Period, about B.C. 250. Business was carried on chiefly by barter, so much whcat, barley, or millet being the value of a sheep, bull,cow, or goat, linen, etc. The Egyptians used weights and measures, e.g., the royal cubit of 7 palms or 28 fingers, the little cubit of 6 palms or 24 fingers, the palm of 4 fingers, the hand of 5 fingers, the fist of 6 fingers, and the finger; of dry measure, the hen, the țenát, the apt, etc.; of weight, the țeben (= 3} ounces), the keț=loth of a țeben, etc. The use of the scales was well known, but there is no evidence that the steelyard was employed before the Roman Period. Stamped money was unknown among the Egyptians, but they appear to have used a currency which consisted of pieces of wire made of copper, iron, or gold, and gold-dust. Ring-money, made of gold, is represented in the painting on the south wall of the Fourth Egyptian Room; and also the little bags containing gold dust. Ring-money in gold is in use at the present day along the east coast of Africa, and in certain parts of the Sûdân copper wire still possesses great purchasing powers.
Handicrafts.—The Egyptian of all periods was a skilled potter. In the earliest times the potter's wheel was unknown, and every vessel was shaped by the potter's hand or foot. Vessels of all sorts, shapes, and sizes were made with great skill, and in later periods were decorated with linear and other designs. The art of the potter throve until the advent of the conquerors from Asia, when it began to languish ; and in a few centuries carthenware vessels were superseded by stone. Good examples of Predynastic and Archaic pottery will be found in the cases on the Landing of the NorthWest Staircase, and of the pottery of the later periods in the Fourth Egyptian Room. The Basket-weaver wove rush matting, plaited mats and sandals, and made ropes and baskets of all kinds. Specimens of his work will be seen in Table-case A in the Third Egyptian Room, and in Wall
Egyptian the pottery binding of the pottery
Jewellers drilling and polishing beads, etc. [Northern Egyptian Gallery, Bay 12, No. 518.]
XVIIIth dynasty. cases 182-187 in the Fourth Egyptian Room. Owing to the abundance of fax in Egypt the trade of the linen-weaver was in all periods most flourishing, and the “fine linen of Egypt” was famous throughout Western Asia and the seaports of the Mediterranean. A staff of linen weavers appears to have been attached to each temple, and the sale of their work produced a large revenue; a portion was paid to the king, and the rest was kept by the priests. The city of Apu