History of Horticulture


Egypt Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egyptian Agriculture and the Origins of Horticulture (pdf file)

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  1. The great sphinx and pyramids at Giza.
  2. The sarcophagus of King Tut Ankh Amun encrusted with gold and semiprecious stones.
  3. The Sun Boat Model in the Special Museum at Giza.
  4. Isis suckling her sun Horus, later depicted as a falcon-headed god. Isis later became a cult figure and was worshiped as a female deity. Egyptian theology has a strong influence on subsequent religious practices of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (J. Janick photo).
  5. Floral offerings to Isis. The papyrus was the symbol of lower Egypt and the lotus was the symbol of upper Egypt. Isis's crown is a combination of horns and the sun disc.
  6. Hunting scene showing lotus and papyrus.
  7. The unification of upper and lower Egypt was celebrated by the design of a new crown fusing the design of each. (J. Janick photo)
  8. The reunification of upper and lower Egypt symbolized by the tying up of the lotus and the papyrus in a bas relief at the Cairo Museum. (J. Janick photo)
  9. The Temple of Khnum (Kom Ombo), at Esna showing columns representing papyrus and lotus. (J. Janick photo)
  10. Close-up of columns in the interior of the Esna temple. (J. Janick photo)
  11. Close up of columns in the interior of the Esna temple alternating lotus and papyrus. (J. Janick photo)
  12. Oasis at Tor with mud walls in the Sinai Peninsula. The prototype of garden origins. (J. Janick photo)
  13. Present day garden at Neve Firan, Sinai showing irrigation channels. (J. Janick photo)
  14. A barge carrying agricultural products (forage?) in the Nile. Egypt is the gift of the Nile (Herodotus 484–425 BC, Greek historian). (J. Janick photo)
  15. Development of the hoe. (Top) Primitive Egyptian hoe cut from a forked branch. (Bottom) A more developed form with hafted wooden blade. Both Middle Kingdom (2375–1800 BC). Source: Singer et al. 1954. A History of Technology Fig. 350.
  16. Plowing and hoeing in Egypt. From a tomb at Beni Hasan. ca 1900 BC. Source: Singer et al. 1954. A History of Technology Fig. 43.
  17. Cultivation, hoeing and plowing. Note ladder like cross pieces on plow handle and shaft bound to a double yoke over the oxen horns. Source: J. N. Leonard, 1973. The First Farmers. p. 117.
  18. Cultivation, hoeing and plowing. Note ladder like cross pieces on plow handle and shaft bound to a double yoke over the oxen horns. Source: J. N. Leonard, 1973. The First Farmers. p. 117.
  19. Surveyors measuring a field, probably to determine tax. From a tomb at Thebes ca. 1400 BC. Source: Singer et al. 1954. A History of Technology Fig. 354.
  20. The round arbor was a favorite training system for grapes.
  21. Wine making. Collecting and treading grapes. Wine is stored in amphora. From a tomb at Thebes, Egypt, ca. 1500 BC. Source: Singer et al. 1954. A History of Technology Fig. 185.
  22. Working an early Egyptian bag-press. From a tomb at Saqqara, Egypt ca. 2500 BC. Source: Singer et al. 1954. A History of Technology Fig. 186.
  23. A modern juice extraction machine showing the same principle as the previous figure.
  24. An improved bag-press in which the ends are held apart by a frame. An inspector tests the cloth for holes. From a tomb at Beni Hasan, Egypt ca. 1500 BC. Source: Singer et al. 1954. A History of Technology Fig. 187.
  25. A modern continuous cider machine that operates by squeezing fruit in a cloth press, the same principle as the previous slide.
  26. Storing the harvest. From a tomb at Beni Hasan, Egypt ca. 1900 BC. Source: Singer et al. 1954. A History of Technology Fig. 26.
  27. Quality control in storing the harvest. From a tomb at Beni Hasan, Egypt ca. 1900 BC. Source: Singer et al. 1954. A History of Technology Fig. 26.
  28. A noble couple, surrounded by farm scenes give thanks for the harvest by anointing an array of fruit, vegetables, bread, and meat. Source: J. N. Leonard, 1973. The First Farmers. p. 115.
  29. Bee, from the temple of Kafnak. (J. Janick, photo)
  30. An epistle which Sinuhe the Egyptian penned the following description about Yaa, the name for Israel (ca 2000BC). It was a goodly land called Yaa. Figs were in it and grapes, and its wine was more abundant than its water. Plentiful was its honey, many were its olives; all manner of fruits were upon its trees. Source: Good and Nurock, The Fruits of the Holy Land. 1968. p. 2.
  31. Queen Hatshepsut's temple (El-Deir El-Bahari. Hatshpesut, the only woman to rule of Egypt as Pharaol, names ner tempe "Djeser, Djeseru" the Sjdour of Splendours. (J. Janick, photo).
  32. A close up of Queen Hatshepsut; note the false beard, symbol of Pharaohs. (J. Janick, photo)
  33. Ships of Queen Hatshepsut's fleet lading at Punt (northeastern coast of Africa) with exotic merchandise for Egypt. From a temple at Deir el-Bahri, Egypts, ca. 1500 BC. Note the tame baboons, the marine character of the fishes depicted, and the carriage and storage of growing incense plants. Source: Singer et al. 1954. A History of Technology Fig. 32.
  34. An early botanical collection. Strange plants and seeds brought back from Syria by Thothmes III, as they were carved on the walls of the temple of Karnak, Egypt, ca. 1450 BC.
  35. Four workers transporting trees for transplanting. Source: Wright, 1934.
  36. A formal Egyptian garden. The lotus pool, on which the statue of the vizier Rekhmire is being towed in a boat, is faced at one end by a pavilion or summerhouse. Around the pool grow doum palms, date palms, acacias, and other trees and shrubs. From the tomb of Rekhmire at Thebes. ca. 1450 BC. Source: Singer et al. 1954. A History of Technology Fig. 361.
  37. A late 9th century impression (1883) of a bird's eye view of a high official's garden. Source: J. S. Berrall, The Garden: An Illustrated History. p. 12.
  38. Garden plant for a wealthy Egyptian Estate. Note two palms; single trunk = date palm, bifurcated trunk = doum palm. Source: I. S. Berrall, The Garden: An Illustrated History. p. 120.
  39. Pyramids at Giza. (J. Janick, photo)
  40. Treading in the seed. Sheep are driven across the filed to tread in the seed scattered before them by the sower, who here offers them a handful of grain to lure them on. From a tomb at Saqqara, Egypt ca. 2400 BC. Source: Singer et al. 1954. A History of Technology Fig. 353.
  41. Drawing water in pots from a lily pond. From a tomb at Thebes, Egypt. ca. 1450 BC. Source: Singer et al. 1954. A History of Technology Fig. 343.
  42. Irrigating
  43. Irrigating and harvesting in a vegetable garden. The gardener carry pots slung across their shoulders from which they pour water into a checkerboard of mall runnels which irrigate the plot. Another ties onions into bundles. From an early reproduction of a scene in a tomb at Beni hasan, Egypt ca 1900 BC. Source: Singer et al. 1954. A History of Technology Fig. 360.
  44. A contemporary scene or garden irrigation in Sumatra. Cabbage is being grown for shipment to Singapore. (J. Janick, photo)
  45. Date palm with water storage pond in a distorted perspective. Source: E. Hyams. 1971. A History of Gardens and Gardening. p. 18.
  46. Orchard with a large tank of water. Source: E. Hyams. 1971. A History of Gardens and Gardening. p. 12.
  47. Garden planted with fig, olive trees and flowering plants containing a pavilion with steps leading down to the water, being irrigated by a row of shadufs. From a tomb at Thebes ca. 1300 BC. Source: Singer et al. 1954. A History of Technology. Fig. 345.
  48. Irrigation of a garden by means of a row of shadufs. Lotus grows in the pools and papyrus at their edges. From a tomb at Thebes ca. 1300 BC. Source: Singer et al. 1954. A History of Technology. Fig. 345.
  49. Harvesting pomegranates while a bay chases away birds with a slingshot. Hyams. 1971. A History of Gardens and Gardening. p. 13.
  50. Gathering figs in shallow baskets. Tame baboons cavort in the tree. From a tomb at Beni Haxan, Egypt. ca. 1900 BC. Source: Singer et al. 1954. A History of Technology Fig. 362.
  51. Gathering lilies for their perfume. Source: Singer et al. 1954. A History of Technology Fig. 189.
  52. Contemporary picture of students harvesting peaches. (R. Hayden, photo)
  53. Expressing oil of lily. Source: Singer et al. 1954. A History of Technology Fig. 189.
  54. Cover of alabaster Canop Vase in Tut Ankh Amon. Note lipstick and painted eyes.
  55. A visual representation of the fragrance from essential oils being extracted from an herb. Philae Temple (dismantled and reassembled on Agilika Island, about 500 m from its original home), Aswan. (J. Janick, photo)
  56. Bandaging mummies. From a new Kingdom tomb at Thebes. The mummification process was a magico-religious act to prepare the body as a fit receptacle for the returning soul. Decomposition of the fleshy parts were first stopped. The process involved (1) removal of brain and abdominal and thoracic viscera, except heart and kidneys, (2) cleaning the viscera with palm-wine and spices, (3) filling the body-cavities with myrrh, cassia, and other aromatic substances, and sewing up the embalming incision (4) treating the body with natron (sodium carbonate) and washing it, and finally, (5) anointing it with cedar-oil and other ointments rubbing it with fragrant materials, and wrapping it in bandages. Source: Singer et al. 1954. A History of Technology Fig. 167.