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F Nigel Hepper
The Botanical Treasures of Tutankhamun
The golden face of Tutankhamun was garlanded with fresh flowers exquisitely preserved after 3,000 years in his innermost coffin. In the tomb a model of a granary was found full to the brim with seeds—emmer wheat, fenugreek and chick-pea. Brooms of reed and grass used to tidy up after the burial remained intact. Usually ignored by grave robbers intent on gold, the baskets, fabrics and papyri, timber and unguent vases buried with Tutankhamun have survived.
Each chapter of Pharaoh's Flowers carries detailed descriptions of the plant species found or represented in the tomb. The plants and flowers of ancient Egypt are brought back to life in this botanical exploration of the Pharaoh's tomb.
This new, second edition of this important and fascinating book, first published in 1990, has been fully updated, to take account of recent finds and interpretations. New features include: 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, with quotations from the Old Testament that illuminate ancient botanical knowledge and practices.
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 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. —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
About the Author
F Nigel Hepper was formerly head of the Tropical African Section and Assistant Keeper of the Herbarium at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. He has written widely on archaeobotany, and is the author of Illustrated Encyclopedia of Bible Plants and many publications on tropical flora.
7-¾ x 10; 101 pages; illustrated (b&w and color)
2009: $35 (cloth)