Animals in Antiquity

From the Editor

By: Jane Hickman

Originally Published in 2011

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The winter 2011 issue on animals in antiquity began with a suggestion by Donald White two years ago. White, Curator Emeritus of the Mediterranean Section, has always had a keen interest in horses, having owned them since childhood. He thought that an article on horses incorporating images of Equus caballus from the Penn Museum’s Mediterranean Collection might be of interest to our readers. As White was writing his article, I met Kenneth Kitchell, a Classicist from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and we began to talk about pets in antiquity. The germ of an idea for a second feature article was launched. Finally, a review appeared of a new book by Penn Classics professor Jeremy McInerney: The Cattle of the Sun: Cows and Culture in the World of the Ancient Greeks (Princeton University Press, 2010). McInerney agreed to write on Minoan bull-leaping for what was now shaping up to be a special issue on animals in antiquity.

Several other short articles concerning animals are included here as well. Just this past summer, Charles K. Williams II excavated a large deposit of butchered animal bones associated with 4th–5th century AD Corinth in Greece. A preliminary report is included in this issue. Jacob Morton reviews Animals in Greek and Roman Thought, a new book that examines how animals were viewed in the ancient world. And, in “Looking Back,” one of our favorite images from the Archives—a 1904 photograph by Jessie Tarbox Beals—captures the importance of the human-animal bond.

Because many new discoveries were made at the Albanian site of Butrint in 2011, we have included a two-part “From the Field,” which focuses on this site. We also include a piece—“Collection Notes”—which describes the Museum’s new online searchable database.

Thank you to the many museums that have made this issue possible by contributing images of objects from their collections, especially the Heraklion Museum in Crete, the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, the British Museum, the Harvard Sackler Museum, the Worcester Art Museum, the Linda Hall Library, and, of course, the Penn Museum. Thank you also to Manfred Bietak, Nanno Marinatos, and Clairy Palivou for allowing the use of bull-leaping images from Taureador Scenes in Tell el-Dabca (Avaris) and Knossos (Vienna: 2007).

Cite This Article

Hickman, Jane. "Animals in Antiquity." Expedition Magazine 53, no. 3 (December, 2011): -. Accessed April 24, 2024.

This digitized article is presented here as a historical reference and may not reflect the current views of the Penn Museum.

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