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Document Details :
Title: First catch your ostrich
Author(s): COLLON, D.
Journal: Iranica Antiqua
Volume: 33 Date: 1998
The ostrich is now extinct in northern Mesopotamia but its presence to the west of the Euphrates is amply recorded. Although there is evidence which suggests that ostrich feathers were highly prized, archaeological evidence for the bird is predominantly in the form of decorated ostrich eggs. Mesopotamian ostrich eggs are, however, undecorated, and although they are attested in excavations from the late fourth millenium BC onwards, many are now fragmentary and may have gone unrecorded. Their contents were used as medical ingredient, as were the shells. Trade in Ostrich eggs is well attested and could travel huge distances, with parthians, for example, exchanging ostrich eggs and acrobats for silk with the Chinese. This article gives an overview of Mesopotamian seal data on ostrichs.