The Significance of Predynastic canid burials in Ancient Egypt

Mary Hartley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dog burials have been found in Egypt dating as far back as the Badarian culture. During the Predynastic period they were found buried individually or in groups of two or more, associated with individual human burials, or within human cemeteries or settlements. The dogs have frequently been reported as pets, which appears to be a modern interpretation. By studying the early excavation reports and considering the positioning and the location of the dog burials, a pattern emerges suggesting that these burials were deliberate. They were located on the extremities of cemeteries, and when found directly associated with a human, the dog was placed at the foot of the grave. While the dogs may have been 'pets' in life, their function in the funerary context was that of a protector
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-74
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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