Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Ancient Artworks Assist Climate Scientists

Friday, August 09, 2013

1.13528MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA—A new analysis of a study of the animals depicted in ancient Egyptian art reveals that 6,000 years ago, there were 38 types of large mammals living in Egypt, compared to eight species today. Climate records indicated that declines in predators and prey, or changes in the food web, coincided with periods when the region became more arid. “There are interesting stories buried in the data—at the congruence of the artistic and written record,” said ecologist Justin Yeakel of Simon Fraser University.