Tale of Egyptian hound

PUBLISHED: 13:11 22 June 2006 | UPDATED: 14:44 12 May 2010

Michael Rice can now take time out to relax

Michael Rice can now take time out to relax

A MAN from Odsey has had a book published about the ancient Egyptian hunting hound. Michael Rice, 78, who is author of Swifter than the Arrow: The Golden Hunting Hounds of Ancient Egypt, is a specialist in the ancient history of the Middle East. He said:

A MAN from Odsey has had a book published about the ancient Egyptian hunting hound.

Michael Rice, 78, who is author of Swifter than the Arrow: The Golden Hunting Hounds of Ancient Egypt, is a specialist in the ancient history of the Middle East.

He said: "I have always been interested in dogs and Egypt and the two subject matters came together.

"And when I discovered there wasn't a proper study of the Egyptian hound I thought I would write one."

He said: "The Egyptians were the first people to breed and train dogs and take them into the family as pets.

"The thing that really impressed me was the way that the Egyptians had maintained the purity of this breed over hundreds and hundreds of years until they produced a beautiful -looking dog."

He said he believed the book would surprise some people because the people in ancient Egypt were much like people today as dog owners.

"If people read and like the book they will begin to understand much more about Egypt."

There is a belief that dogs today are directly descended from the Pharaoh hound.

"It is possible, but I used to have a Pharaoh hound and I don't think that is true."

It took Mr Rice three years to write the book.

"I went to museums, libraries and consulted people who knew about dogs.

"The thing that fascinated me the most when writing the book was the fact that the Egyptians created this extraordinary culture from scratch.

"I like the humanity of the Egyptians. They are human in the sense of being agreeable and nice people."

Mr Rice has been writing all his life and has been involved with the archaeology of Arabia, the Gulf and Egypt.

He is also the author of Egypt's Legacy, Egypt's Making and Who's Who in Ancient Egypt.

"I shall write other books about Egypt in the future. I'm particularly interested in the origins of complex societies and of the origin of ancient Egypt. Egypt was the first nation state in the world," he said.


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