Pharaoh's Flowers: The Botanical Treasures of Tutankhamun

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9780981773636: Pharaoh's Flowers: The Botanical Treasures of Tutankhamun

As the golden face of Tutankhamun was found garlanded with fresh flowers exquisitely preserved for 3,000 years, the plants of ancient Egypt are brought back to life in this botanical exploration of the Pharaoh's tomb. Usually ignored by grave robbers intent on gold, the baskets, fabrics, papyri, timber, unguent vases, and model granaries filled to the brim with seeds that were buried with Tutankhamun have survived, completely intact, and each chapter of the book carries detailed descriptions of the plant species found or represented in the tomb, including emmer, fenugreek, chickpea, and types of reed and grass. F. Nigel Hepper groups the plants according to their uses, with categories such as Flowers and Leaves; Oils, Resins, and Perfumes; and Papyrus, Flax, and Other Fibrous Plants. This new edition of the fascinating book that was first published in 1990 has been fully updated to take into account recent finds and interpretations, and it features a revised and annotated further reading section, now with a guide to websites; a glossary of botanical terms; a new diagram of the tomb; additional illustrations; and a Bible references section, keyed to the main text and with quotations from the Old Testament that illuminate ancient botanical knowledge and practices.

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About the Author:

F. Nigel Hepper has written widely on archaeobotany and is a former head of the Tropical African Section and Assistant Keeper of the Herbarium at London's Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. He is the author of Illustrated Encyclopedia of Bible Plants.

From Publishers Weekly:

Starred Review. Ostensibly a botanical study, this insightful book goes behind the iconic gilded coffin masks to demonstrate the day-to-day humanity of young pharaoh Tutankhamun and his wife. Botanist Hepper, formerly of London's Royal Kew Gardens, first published this analysis of plant materials found in King Tut's tomb in 1990; the explosion of data since then necessitated this new edition, a luxe gift for armchair Egyptologists. Hepper categorizes the recovered plants according to their nature and uses ("Flowers and Leaves," used mainly for decoration; "Oils, Resins and Perfumes," used for fragrance, embalming and gluing; "Papyrus, Flax and other Fibrous Plants," for writing materials and fabrics; etc.), profiling the objects found and providing a detailed botanical description of each plant cited (plants with more than one use are carefully cross-referenced). Drawings, Hepper's own, are beautifully rendered, but the volume also contains photos of living examples, many in color. Updated references and a glossary of botanical terms round out this informative visually rich and emotionally engaging volume.

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