The ancient Egyptians held the hyena in veneration because — so it was believed — that a certain stone, called the "hyaenia," was found in the animal's eye (or its head). Pliny writes in his Natural History1 that the stone, when placed under the tongue, imparts the gift of prophecy.
- Cooper, J.C., ed. (1997). Brewer's Book of Myth and Legend. Oxford: Helicon Publishing Ltd.