Ecologist and science journalist, and Bushtracks guest blogger, Cheryl Lyn Dybas explores the recent discovery of the gray wolves living mysteriously amongst Africa’s golden jackals, something which ancient Egyptians may have known long ago. In The Time of the Jackal-Gods It is 2494 B.C., Egypt’s Fifth Dynasty. A procession makes its way to a sun-temple, where the pharaoh’s Sed Festival, held in the thirtieth year of his reign, is set to begin. A greeting awaits him: two officers wearing caps and tails lined with fur…fur the Egyptians believe came from wolves. The human sentries represent the twin gods Anubis and Wepwawet. Anubis and Wepwawet were called jackal-gods for the propensity of golden jackals to hunt rodents by night near cemeteries. But were the gods in fact jackals? Could one or both have been something else? Might they have been wolves? Long-ago Egyptians thought so. What did they know that we don’t - or didn’t, until recently?
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