Why were baboons famous in Egypt? They were sometimes kept as pets, had a god named for them, but did they have any significance?

ANOTHER EXAMPLE--Sun-worshipping baboons rise early to catch the African sunrise - and race each other to the top for the best spots

The playful Gelada Baboons are some of Africa's most sociable monkeys They wake up before daybreak and climb to the highest vantage point they can find

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2583322/Monkey-magic-Playful-baboons-scramble-mountain-enjoy-spectacular-sunrise.html#ixzz4ByIaIiin Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

1 Answer 1


According to William Petrie in his book The Religion of Ancient Egypt,

"...the serious expression and human ways of the large baboons are an obvious cause for their being regarded as the wisest of animals" (22).

He goes on to state that Tahuti, the deity of wisdom, personified by the baboon, existed in Egyptian culture throughout most of its early history. He mentions, too, that baboons were associated with timekeeping due to their tendency to chatter upon the sunrise, and baboons also may have been associated with calendrical timekeeping (Dawn of Egyptian Art p. 236).

It's well known that the ancient Egyptians were devoted observers of astronomical events and had an early hand in timekeeping generally, so (personal stipulation) it makes sense for them to glorify a creature which falls into such patterns naturally.

Regardless of their role, baboons almost certainly held some position of prominence in the culture; in addition to Tahuti and any pet-keeping, it appears statuettes of baboons were constructed as well.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.