4,000 year old model garden found outside Egypt tomb
search

4,000 year old model garden found outside Egypt tomb

Archaeologists believe unprecedented find near Luxor ‘had a symbolic meaning and must have played a role in the funerary rites’

A handout picture released by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities on May 3, 2017, shows the remains of a nearly 4,000-year-old model garden following its discovery at the Draa Abul Nagaa necropolis on the west bank of the Nile River (AFP)
A handout picture released by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities on May 3, 2017, shows the remains of a nearly 4,000-year-old model garden following its discovery at the Draa Abul Nagaa necropolis on the west bank of the Nile River (AFP)

CAIRO, Egypt — Archaeologists have discovered the remains of a nearly 4,000-year-old model garden outside a tomb in the ancient Egyptian capital of Thebes, the Antiquities Ministry said on Wednesday.

The find was made by a Spanish team in the Draa Abul Nagaa necropolis across the Nile from the modern-day city of Luxor, the ministry said.

The ten foot by seven foot garden consists of equally divided square plots each about a foot across.

It was found in an open courtyard outside a Middle Kingdom (2050 to 1800 BCE) tomb.

A corridor in the remains of an ancient pyramid found in Giza, Egypt and announced April 3, 2017. Egyptian Antiques Ministry)
A corridor in the remains of an ancient pyramid found in Giza, Egypt and announced April 3, 2017. Egyptian Antiques Ministry)

The garden “probably had a symbolic meaning and must have played a role in the funerary rites,” the ministry cited the head of the Spanish team, Jose Galan, as saying.

“The like has never been found in ancient Thebes.”

The ministry’s head of ancient Egyptian antiquities, Mahmoud Afifi, said the tiny square plots seem to have each contained different species of plants and flowers.

“In the middle there are two elevated spots for a small tree or bush,” the ministry cited him as saying.

“At one of the corners, the root and the trunk of a 4,000 year old small tree have been preserved to a height of a foot.”

“Next to it, a bowl was found containing dates and other fruits, which could have been presented as an offering.”

Illustrative: the ancient ruins of the Karnak Temple in Luxor, Egypt, November 30, 2014. (AP/Hassan Ammar)
Illustrative: the ancient ruins of the Karnak Temple in Luxor, Egypt, November 30, 2014. (AP/Hassan Ammar)

In ancient Egypt, the dead were traditionally surrounded by objects they enjoyed in life, so they could continue to enjoy them in the afterlife.

The team also discovered a small mud-brick temple attached to the tomb containing three stone slabs, one of which contained a dedication to the Egyptian gods Montu, Ptah, Sokar and Osiris.

The Draa Abul Naga necropolis is located near the famed Valley of the Kings, where many of the pharaohs, including Tutankhamun, were buried.

It is where a separate team of archaeologists found several 3,500 year old mummies and more than 1,000 funerary statues in a discovery announced by the ministry last month.

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more:
comments