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4000 year old funerary garden found in Egypt



May 15, 2017

Archeologists have discovered an ancient Egyptian funerary garden on the Dra Abu el-Naga hill in Luxor, which is thought to date from around 2000 BCE.

While archeologists have suspected many such gardens exist, thanks to their appearance in numerous hieroglyphs, this is the first time such a garden has been found.

Head of the Djehuty Project in Luxor, a Spanish National Research Council initiative, Professor Jose Manuel Galan said the garden dates from around the Twelfth Dynasty, an important time in ancient Egyptian history because it saw the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt into one kingdom.

The garden measures just 2m x 3m and is thought to have been planted out with botanical symbols of life and rebirth, as well as plants that would have been used in funeral rites.  Professor Galan said:


The plants grown there would have had a symbolic meaning, therefore the garden will also provide information about religious beliefs and practices, as well as the culture and society at the time of the Twelfth Dynasty when Thebes [modern-day Luxor] became the capital of a unified Egypt.


Palms, sycamores, lettuces and the persea tree (Mimusops laurifolia) have long been associated with ancient Egypt funeral practices as well as Egyptian mythology. Branches of the latter were included in funeral bouquets and the small yellow fruit symbolised the sacred heart of Horus.

It is expected that these and many more species of plants will be identified by analysing the seeds collected by archeologists in and around the garden site.

Watch the video below for an impression of what the garden once looked like!


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