Ancient images: cats, or big cats?

Imagine you are an archaeologist sorting through the items found at a dig—vases, mosaics and other items. You find images of cats—but how can you tell if these are house cats or larger wildcats like leopards and cheetahs? In some cases, you can’t tell, because of the poor condition of the object—pieces broken off, weathered by time or otherwise damaged. But one general rule helps: domestic cats did (and do) have triangular-shaped ears, while leopards, cheetahs, lions, and most other big cats have rounded ears. This is reflected in ancient art—usually. Ancient craftsmen had talent, but they weren’t always sticklers for details.
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