The Cheetah in Ancient Egypt

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A cheetah as part of tribute from Nubia

Egyptian Name:

Bameh



Hieroglyphics:

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A tame cheetah on a leash

The cheetah was occasionally tamed and used like a hound by royalty, and live animals and skins were brought to Egypt as part of the tribute from Nubia. Queen Hatsheput is recorded as having cheetahs imported from Punt to become part of her royal zoo, and she also kept a pair as her personal pets.


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The ancient Egyptians used the same word for both "cheetah" and "leopard," although the two felines are clearly distinguishable from each other in tomb paintings, due to the cheetah's slim build and distinctive "tear drops" under the eyes.



The Felines of Ancient Egypt