What is a cynocephalus baboon?
It's a type of baboon found in Africa. Cynocephalus refers to the shape of the baboon's head, which appears like a dog's head.
The baboon species P. cynocephalus was actually not native to Egypt, but found farther south, further up the Nile, so they were imported! However, cynocephalus baboons are widely found in ancient Egyptian iconography, sacred to the god Thoth and messengers to the gods.
What did baboons represent?
Because baboons raise their arms every morning to warm their bodies with the light of the sun, and they shout at dawn as if to greet the sun, they are associated with the sun god, Re. They were also associated with Thoth, the god of wisdom, because they were understood as very intelligent animals. Their sometimes aggressive nature led them to be seen as guardians as well.
Tell me more.
This baboon, a type native to Egypt, would have been a sacred figure associated with the god of wisdom, Thoth. Baboons were also seen as particularly effective messengers to Thoth.