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Title: Private and Commercial Pigeon Breeding Taxed
Subtitle: Ptolemaic Levies on Pigeon Houses and their Revenues
Author(s): VANDORPE, Katelijn , VANOPPRÉ, Lisa
Journal: Ancient Society
Volume: 50    Date: 2020   
Pages: 41-64
DOI: 10.2143/AS.50.0.3289078

Abstract :
Pigeon breeding, already popular in Pharaonic Egypt and in the Greek world, continued into the Ptolemaic period. Pigeon squabs were considered a delicacy, and pigeon manure was used to fertilize types of land that could not be enriched by the Nile inundations. Pigeon houses of a modest size were constructed in the residential areas, while larger buildings were found on the outskirts of towns and in the agricultural area. Two types of taxes were levied on these pigeon houses: (1) a revenue tax known as the one-third tax and based on the number of productive nests; (2) a property tax called the cubit tax and based on the ground surface of the dovecotes. After an introduction to the many uses of pigeons and a detailed discussion of both taxes, this paper tries to find out why two distinct taxes were established and which were the target groups of these levies.

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