Egyptian artworks trace ecological collapse over 6,000 years

September 8, 2014 11:11 PM

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Egyptian artworks trace ecological collapse over 6,000 years

Around six millennia ago, there were 37 species of large-bodied mammals in Egypt, but only eight species remain today. Among the species recorded in artwork from the late Predynastic Period (before 3,100 BC) but no longer found in Egypt are lions, wild dogs, elephants, oryx, hartebeest, and giraffe.

"What was once a rich and diverse mammalian community is very different now," Yeakel said. "As the number of species declined, one of the primary things that was lost was the ecological redundancy of the system. There were multiple species of gazelles and other small herbivores, which are important ...

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