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Bees and bee products and their uses in ancient Egypt (Summary)

Zlatko Đukić orcid id
Robert Stubičar orcid id

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 366 Kb


str. 88-99

preuzimanja: 145



Some of the oldest evidence of human beekeeping and the use of bee products was found in the area of fertile rivers such as the River Nile and Mesopotamia. The first people collected honey from wild beehives that could be found in the vicinity of fertile river valleys, and later they tried their hand at cultivating bees themselves. Already from the earliest times, people have realized that honey is nutritious, healthy and medicinal, and it was considered one of the greatest gifts that nature has given to man, therefore in ancient times, honey has become one of the most desirable of luxury products. It is precisely the motif of exclusivity associated with honey in the earliest periods of human history, and only the richest or most powerful had the opportunity to consume it. As human societies developed and the first states emerged, bees began to be cultivated under the direction of the central government and local rulers. On the territory of the Egyptian state, beekeeping will be established as one of the most important professions. Furthermore, it was recognized very early on, that honey has many medicinal properties and it was therefore considered one of the most important remedies for fighting numerous diseases. In addition to honey, the ancient peoples also used beeswax, to which they attributed many magical properties. This paper will therefore talk about beekeeping in the period of ancient history in Egypt, including the later era of Greek and Roman occupation. Most of the attention will be paid to beekeeping methods, tools, products and the economic, social, medical and magical role that honey and beeswax once had. Also, the paper will highlight the significant religious role of bees (and their products) and their symbolism in the religious and social life of the ancient Egyptians.

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