Ancient Egyptian Art Reveals An Ecosystem In Decline

September 9, 2014 8:48 PM

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Ancient Egyptian Art Reveals An Ecosystem In Decline

From decorated pottery to intricate wall carvings, ancient Egyptian artifacts serve as records of life along the Nile Valley for the past 6,000 years, including its decline. Animal depictions in artwork show the rise and fall of mammal species over the millennia and reveal an environment that became increasingly unstable through drought and human population growth, a study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows.

Several large mammal species that were common along the Nile thousands of years ago have long since disappeared. In 4000 B.C. there were 37 species of large-bodied mammals in Egypt. Today, there are only eight, said a statement from the University of California Santa Cruz, which led the study that t...

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