Egyptian cat hunting in the marshes A tawny cat catches birds among the papyrus stems. Cats were family pets in ancient Egypt, but the cat shown here in this context could also represent the Sun-god hunting the enemies of light and order. The cat's unusual gilded eye hints at the religious meanings of this scene. The Tomb-chapel of Nebamun Thebes, Egypt. Late 18th Dynasty, around 1350 BC Salt Collection British Museum, Room 61:
One of the Nimrud ivories, 9th-7th century BC. Discovered in Nimrud (modern Iraq) and excavated by the British in the 1940s-60s. The British Museum acquired many of the carvings in 2011, when they were exhibited for the first time to the public.