Dwarfs assimilated in ancient Egypt

Dec 27, 2005

Dwarfs in ancient Egypt were assimilated into daily life and their condition was not seen as a physical handicap, says a U.S. scientist.

Dr. Chahira Kozma, of the department of pediatrics at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, examined the remains and artistic evidence of dwarfism in ancient Egypt, including both elite dwarfs who achieved important status, and ordinary dwarfs.

Pictorial sources of dwarfism in tomb and vase paintings, statues and other art forms are numerous and indicate that dwarfs were employed as personal attendants, overseers of linen, animal tenders, jewelers, dancers and entertainers, according to Kozma.

Several dwarfs were members of households of high officials and esteemed enough to receive lavish burial sites in the royal cemetery close to the pyramids.

In addition, there several dwarf gods in ancient Egypt; the best-known ones were involved in magical practices to protect the living and the dead.

The findings are reported in the January issue of the American Journal of Medical Genetics.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Explainer: How to solve a jewel heist (and why it takes so long)

Related Stories

Global warming led to dwarfism in mammals—twice

Nov 02, 2013

Mammal body size decreased significantly during at least two ancient global warming events, a new finding that suggests a similar outcome is possible in response to human-caused climate change, according to a University of ...

Bone parts don't add up to conclusion of Palauan dwarfs

Aug 27, 2008

Misinterpreted fragments of leg bones, teeth and brow ridges found in Palau appear to be an archaeologist's undoing, according to researchers at three institutions. They say that the so-called dwarfs of these ...

Recommended for you

Top UK scientists warn against EU exit

3 hours ago

A group of leading British scientists including Nobel-winning geneticist Paul Nurse warned leaving the European Union could threaten research funding, in a letter published in The Times newspaper on Friday.

How we discovered the three revolutions of American pop

3 hours ago

Dr Matthias Mauch discusses his recent scientific analysis of the "fossil record" of the Billboard charts prompted widespread attention, particularly the findings about the three musical "revolutions" that shaped the musical la ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.