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Fish in Ancient Egypt

On the left are listed all fish documented from excavations in Egypt: the statistics for Elephantine shows the fish bones found at one specific multi-period site (after Boessneck 1988: 118-133).

fish hooks | fishing with the net

Name of Fish Quality of meat fish bones found at Elephantine, cemetery fish bones found at Elephantine, temple of Satet
bichir/polypterus bichir very good    
mormyrus caschive and mormyrus kannume moderately, fat meat 3 4
mormyrops anguilloides moderately, fat meat 88  
gnathonemus cyprinoides moderately    
hyperopisus bebe moderately, fat meat   2
hydrocyon forskali (= hydrocinus forskali) very good, but with many bones 25 95
alestes dentex and alestes baremose many bones   43
disticodus niloticus good, but many bones 3 4
citharinus citharus and citharinus latus moderately good, but with many bones    
barbus bynni popular feeding fish    
labeo niloticus, labeo horie, labeo coubie labeo forskalii moderately good 23 213
clarias lazera (=clarias gairepinus) clarias anguillaris heterobranchus longifilis and heterobranchus bidorsalis enjoyable, often rotten and wet taste 4 40
eutropius niloticus edible    
schilbe mystus edible    
nile Catfish or hog catfish/bagrus docmac and bagrus bayad good 158 4483
auchenoglanis occidentalis moderately good 20 558
chrysichthys auratus and chrysichthys rueppelli moderately good    
synodontis schall moderately good, dry meat    
synodontis batensoda moderately good    
synodontis membranaceus moderately good 44 112
synodontis serratus moderately good 1 16
synodontis frontosus moderately good 1  
synodontis sorex moderately good   6
malapterurus electricus enjoyable    
mugil capito (=liza ramada) and mugil cephalus popular feeding fish, strong meat    
Nile perch/lates niloticus perfect 203 1923
tilapia nilotica (=oreochromis niloticus) and tilapia galilaea (=sarotherodon) very good   9
tetrodon fahaka good, but needs special preparation because his gonads contains poison   3
sparus aurata perfect    
morone punctatus (=dicentrarchus punctatus)

very good

johnius hololepidotus (=argyrosomus regius = sciaena aquila) perfect    



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