Institut français
d’archéologie orientale - Le Caire


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BIFAO105_art_08.pdf (2.26 Mb)
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Bulletin de l’Institut français d’archéologie orientale 105
2005 IFAO
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L’oryctérope, un animal « bon à penser » pour les Africains, est-il à l’origine du dieu égyptien Seth ?

Although many attempts have been made to identify the Seth-animal, it is usually regarded as an imaginary creature. However, there are striking similarities between the shape if its ears, forehead and snout with those of the aardvark.

In many parts of sub-Saharan Africa this animal plays an important symbolic role, as the appearance and the behavior of this very peculiar mammal make good “food for thought”. It is often associated, like Seth, with the night, the underworld and the dead.

Furthermore, such an identification may also explain most of Seth’s characteristics, such as why it is linked to the origin of kingship, disorder, confusion, sexuality, strength, drunkenness, voracity, etc.
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