A strikingly common feature among early Old World civilizations was the pervasive importance of other species of animal life, both wild and domestic. Beyond the forms of utility that some species acquired before or after domestication, pre-literate peoples in antiquity apparently perceived an additional closeness or interrelatedness to particular animals. They admired or feared-were seemingly awestruck by-certain characteristics which some species possessed in common with themselves, but in greater and more impressive measure. These special qualities included physical and behavioural ones, such as size, bravery, speed, grace, cunning, strength and libido. Some animal species also became important by association with aspects of the unknown, such as with phenomena associated with life versus death.1 Among different peoples this perceived closeness of human and other species led to varied forms of prominence for these species within evolving cosmologies, including their actual worship.