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Ancient Egyptian Plants

Plants in ancient Egypt and its uses

 
Many of the plants were used to the Egyptians, some as food, others for their medicinal qualities, and a few for their beauty. Egyptian Plants such as lotus and papyrus were very common in Egypt. During the pharaonic period, the papyrus  grew in thickets with considerable fauna along the Nile.

To the Egyptians, the papyrus became the symbol of fertility and life itself. Therefore, the theme of papyrus stalks with their sweeping flower umbels was the most commonly used plant decoration used in stylized architecture and many other objects. Egyptians grew crops such as wheat, barley, vegetables, figs, melons, pomegranates, and vines. They also grew flax which was made into linen. 
 
 
Ancient Egyptian Plants

Ancient Egyptian Plants
 

Egyptian Sacred Plants

 
Many Egyptian plants were sacred to them and treated as Plant Gods. Some of these are the palm-tree that shaded them amid the desert, the spring that gave them drink in the oasis, the grove where they could meet and rest and the sycamore flourishing miraculously in the sand.

The practice of providing the mummy of the deceased with a fresh garland of flowers developed at the beginning of the New Kingdom. Unfortunately, the floral collar found on the mummy of Tutankhamen is the only extant example of these. However, from that collar, we can surmise that the method of manufacture and the plant material incorporated within the collar is very similar to those used at banquets.
 
 It rested on the chest area of the innermost of his three coffins. Other plants were also used in the funerary process. For example, bulb leaves from a Crinum variety, which is not indigenous to Egypt, were used to cover the eyes, nose, mouth and mummification incisions of one mummy. Water from the Nile makes it possible to grow crops in Egypt, especially grain (wheat and barley) and beans (like lentils or chickpeas).
 
 Every June, the Nile flooded. This was known as the flooding season. During this time the farmers would mend tools or make new ones. People would go fishing for food or extra money. 
 
 

Egyptian Medicinal Plants

 
Some of the plants in ancient Egypt had medicinal properties. Coriander Oil has been shown to have mild anti-bacterial properties and moderate anti-inflammatory actions if applied locally. 
 
Modern research has shown that a hot water extract of Matricaria chamomile has an antibacterial effect. Garlic’s medicinal properties have long been recognized, some say the pyramids could not have been built without it.
 
 

Egyptian Flowers


Egypt exports many varieties of flowers these days, and Egyptians back into ancient times have always adored their flowers. Indeed, Pharaohs once adorned their war carts with flowers before heading off to war, while even peasants adorned themselves, their animals as well as the coffins of their dead with various flowers. They were given as gifts of love and worship, to lovers and gods.

According to old myths, it was said that the ancient Egyptians used to sing for the lotus in their parties. Moreover, they used to set a day to be the feast of lotus. During this feast, every one was supposed to hold a silver pot, shaped like a lotus with a burning candle in its middle.

Egyptian Flowers


Then, everyone was supposed to head for the Nile, with the pot in his hand and an overwhelming dream in his heart. According to the old myth, it was believed that if the burning candle continued floating on the surface of water, the dream would come true.

Ancient Egypt was perhaps the first country to recognize "national" plants. Specifically, these were the Lotus (water lily) and Papyrus, symbolizing Upper and Lower Egypt, respectively. However, to the ancient Egyptians, flowers were an important aspect of daily life. They adored fresh floral arrangements, but were also one of, if not the first civilizations to immortalize them as artificial flowers made from durable materials.

Until the beginning of the New Kingdom, only the blossom of the water lily and the papyrus head appear to have played a role as models for rosette shapes. Infrequently, the chrysanthemum or chamomile served the same purpose. As a part of the natural vegetation of the Nile Valley, these plants flourish unaided and could be collected as required. However, the Egyptians also planted water lilies in manmade pools.


Ancient Egyptian Plants pictures 
  
Ancient Egyptian Blue Lotus

Ancient Egyptian Blue Lotus

Egyptian Papyrus

Egyptian Papyrus



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