Monday, December 11, 2006

The ancient Egyptian beekeeping scene in the tomb of Ankh-hor

Gene Kritsky,, College of Mount St. Joseph, Department of Biology, College of Mount St. Joseph, Cincinnati, OH

Scenes of beekeeping in Ancient Egyptian art date back to an Old Kingdom (2400 BCE) relief from the Sun Temple of Ne-user-re at Abu Ghorab. This scene shows one beekeeper collecting honey from horizontal, cylindrical hives and others pouring honey into jars for storage. Other beekeeping scenes are known from the tombs of Rekhmire, Pabasa, Tomb 73, and, purportedly, a carving from the causeway of Unas at Saqqara. The tomb of Ankh-hor, located near the tomb of Pabasa, features a beekeeping scene that has been previously unreported in the entomological literature. The Ankh-hor beekeeping relief is described, illustrated, and compared to the previously known carvings and painting.

Species 1: Hymenoptera Apidae Apis mellifera (honey bee)