The secular world:. Animals in association with man. Animals as a human resource. Animals as human companions. Animals in competition with man. Animals in writing. The sacred world:. Animals as representatives and repositories of the gods. The pantheon. Sacred animals. The funerary, magic and mythical world. Animals and humour. Appendixes
'Of all the world's early civilizations, it was that of ancient Egypt that fostered the closest relationship with the animal world. All aspects of life, both secular and sacred, gave prominent place to man's involvment with living creatures of every kind. Peasant and craftsman, ruler and priest treated animals not as mere utilitarian objects, but as symbols of creation equal in the hierarchy of life to man himself and closely tied both to everyyday existence and to the realm of the gods. The magnificent photographs in this volume show the incomparable richness of he pharonic fauna in all forms of artistsic expression- painting, sculpture, relief carving, architectural ornamentation and hieroglyphs- ranging from astonishing realism in the depcition of birds and beasts, both wild and domesticated, with which the people of the Nile Valley came into daily contact, to hieratic stylization in portraying the pantheon of animal-headed gods and the sacred and fabulous creatures that inhabited the ancient Egyptians' devotional, funerary and magic world. The scholarly descriptions and informative captions that accompany this amazing bestiary place each animal depicted in its proper context in relation to man, to the environment and to the gods.'