Ancient Egyptian Animal Skeletons reveal injuries from beatings :
A team of Belgian archaeologists has found wild Animal Skeletons in ancient Egyptian tombs that show signs of punishment and bondage.
Zoological archaeologist Wim Van Neer and his team at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences are making interesting discoveries in Egypt. They learned that the Elite Predynastic (c.3800–3100BC) cemetery at Hierakonpolis was not simply a place to bury the human dead. Archaeologists have also found the remains of over a hundred domestic animals, such as sheep and cattle, and 38 wild Animal Skeletons , including baboons, crocodiles, elephants, hippos and a leopard.
These wild animals represent an early menagerie, but it seems likely that ancient zoo keepers were not as equipped to manage them as their modern counterparts. Many Animal Skeletons show signs of being injured in captivity as a result of incarceration or punishment.
One hippopotamus had a healed fracture on the fibula of its back leg, indicating that it had been tied to a tree and injured its self while trying to escape. Meanwhile, Animal Skeletons such as chimpanzees or gorillas have also suffered injuries that are the result of captivity and violent beatings. Common wounds include fractures in the bones of the hands, feet and forearms indicating that the animals were often ‘violently struck’ to the head and limbs.
The fact that the fractures have healed, as well as the development of lesions resulting from inflammation seen in some specimens, suggests that the Animal Skeletons were kept in captivity for several weeks, if not months.
“Very few violence-related aberrations have been observed in later times,” says Wim van Neer, “indicating that adequate methods were developed to control wild animals.”