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お願いします (12) Nakht would have been short of breath. He suffered from black lung disease and desert lung disease. Red granite dust irritated his lungs and in the end probably contributed to his death from pneumonia. A dark mass near his spleen indicates he had malaria. This and other parasites would have made him most uncomfortable. The worms traveled through his arteries and his intestines, and damaged his muscles, liver, and bladder, causing nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, fever, headaches, chills, joint pain, and itchy skin. It's no wonder parents hung amulets around their children's necks for protection and chanted spells such as, "The child should be safe from diseases, foreigners, badwishing Egyptians and dangerous waters." (13) Not all children suffered as much as Nakht. Paintings and inscriptions on tomb and temple walls show children having fun. They played hockey with sticks made from palm branches and pucks made from leather pouches stuffed with papyrus. Their dolls had real hair, miniature furniture, and clothes. Carefree childhood days were filled with tug-of-war, juggling, catch, board games, wrestling, fishing, and races. Even the poorest children had toys―tops, balls, boats, and animals with movable parts like a crocodile that opened and shut its toothed jaw or a leopard that wagged its tail. The climate being what it was, children often went naked (except for their amulets and jewelry) and shaved their heads (except for a lock on the right side). (14) Most children had pets to play with. All kinds of pets, from the familiar cats and dogs to the more unusual―monkeys, ducks, geese, falcons, and ferrets. Almost all modern cats are descendents from ancient Egyptian cats. Their word for "cat" was myw―meow! And, oh, how they loved their cats! Some parents named their children after their cats (especially the girls). Egyptians loved the mysterious and independent nature of cats.

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(12) ナクートは、息切れすることがよくあったでしょう。 彼は、黒肺塵症(長期間にわたり吸入された炭粉が蓄積し、肺に炎症や繊維症、さらには壊死を引き起こす肺塵症[pneumoconiosis])や砂漠肺塵症にかかっていました。 赤い花崗岩の粉末が、彼の肺を刺激して、結局は、おそらく、肺炎による彼の死の一因となったでしょう。 彼の脾臓の近くの黒っぽい塊は、彼がマラリアにかかっていたことを示します。 これや他の寄生虫は、彼を非常に不快にしたことでしょう。寄生虫は、彼の動脈や彼の腸内を移動し、彼の筋肉、肝臓、膀胱に損傷を与えました、そして、吐き気、下痢、嘔吐、疲労、熱、頭痛、寒け、関節の痛み、皮膚のかゆみを引き起こしました。 親達が、加護を求めて彼らの子供たちの首のまわりにお守りを掛けたり、例えば、「子供が、病気、外国人、悪意のあるエジプト人、危険な水から、安全でありますように。」と言ったおまじないを唱えたのも不思議ではありません。 (13) すべての子供たちが、ナクートほど苦しんだというわけではありませんでした。 墓や寺院の壁の絵や碑文は、楽しんでいる子供たちを示しています。 椰子の枝から作ったスティックとパピルスを詰め込んだ革の袋で作られたパックを使って、彼らはホッケーをしました。彼らの人形には、本物の髪、ミニチュアの家具、服がありました。 のんきな幼い頃の日々は、綱引き、お手玉、キャッチボール、ボードゲーム、レスリング、釣り、駆けっこで、満たされました。 最も貧しい子供たちでさえ、おもちゃを持っていました ― コマ、ボール、ボート、歯のある口を開け閉めするワニ、あるいは、尻尾を振るヒョウの様な可動部分のある動物のおもちゃを持っていました。気候は暑かったので、子供たちは、しばしば、(彼らのお守りと宝石を除いて)裸で過ごし、(右側の髪の房を除いて)彼らの頭を剃っていました。 (14) ほとんどの子供たちには、遊ぶペットがいました。おなじみの猫や犬からより変わったもの ― 猿、カモ、ガチョウ、タカ、フェレット ― まで、ありとあらゆるペットがいました。 ほとんどすべての現代の猫は、古代エジプトの猫の子孫です。 「猫」を表わす彼らのことばは、ミュー ― すなわち、ニャーニャーでした! そして、ああ、なんて、彼らは猫を可愛がったことでしょう!親の中には、彼らの子供たちを彼らの猫の名をとって名づける者もいました(特に女の子)。 エジプト人は、猫の不可解で独立した気性を愛しました。

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