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Talk to a Cattle Rancher About Food

Ah, you want to know how we get the food we eat? Ok, then. Just keep listening. The Hunting of Animals was common in Pre-Dynastic Egypt. They would hunt for Wild Cattle, Hartebeest, Deer, Hares, Dorcas gazelles, Addax and Oryx antelope, Jackals and desert cats. I hear that Wild Cattle were fairly easy to hunt. They lived in the Nile Valley. In the dry seasons the cattle would congregate themselves around the few sources of water and food, making it very easy for the Hunters, because they could kill a large number of cattle without going hardly anywhere! The Hunters hunted on foot and used bows, arrows, lassos and spears. They caught smaller animals in nets and traps. After the development of Agriculture, or farming, larger animals were not hunted very often since grain was more easily accessible. Every year the Nile floods around September and lasts until December or January. The flood leaves a layer of rich Nile silt, which makes a perfect fertilized soil to grow crops in.
The people collect turtles and mussels from the river and they occasionally hunt for hippopotami and crocodiles. Our source of protein is fish, which are very abundant after the Nile flood. The fish are caught using nets or fishhooks. Hunters around these parts usually snare coots, geese and ducks using nets and traps. They like to hang out around the water, so they’re found easily.
We also eat wild foods, such as a variety of seeds, fruits and vegetables. We use a stick to dig up the tubers of wild nut grass, a type of sedge. It’s rich in carbohydrates. When it becomes mature, however, it contains a high level of toxins, so it must be ground and leached before we can eat it. We very much enjoy consuming wild fruits, such as palm nuts, figs and melons. I own a cattle ranch, where I raise cattle for food. I usually have about 15-20 cattle at my ranch at one time. I hope you enjoyed this discussion, I did. Come back and see me again, okay?

For more information, read “Ancient Egypt.” Edited by David P. Silverman.