May 05, 2017 09:58 AM EDT
2,000 BCE Funerary Garden in Egypt: First-Ever Discovery that Helps Experts Figuring Out Ancient Rituals [VIDEO]
In Dra Abu el-Naga Hill of Luxor, there lies a small garden, just 3m x 2m in sizes. It was illustrated in the tombs' entrance and walls and the finding seems to confirm that such funerary garden blossomed 4,000 years ago.
Archaeologists have Long Suspected Such Garden Existed as A Religious Symbol
A team of researchers led by Dr. Jose Manuel Galan (Spanish National Research Council/CSIC) conducts an excavation called Djehuty Project. They have discovered an important site in Thebes, now Luxor, which could reveal how Egyptian's funerals were like.
It started with a finding of a garden in the courtyard that suggests it is dated 2,000 BCE from the era of Twelfth Dynasty. The funerary garden at the entrance measures 3m x 2m split in grids measuring 30 square centimeters each.
Researchers believe that there were small trees and flowers planted there before but are unsure which types exactly. However, it is revealed that the artworks and plants were part of cultural theme or a religious symbol that depicted the funeral - something that Egyptians believe - the resurrection of the dead.
In addition to the finding, archaeologists have also found seeds placed in a bowl which was believed to be the offering during rituals. This marks the very first time that such funerary garden is unearthed. It helps researchers to unlock gardening culture back in the Middle Kingdom and the ancient environment based on the layout. CSIC later concluded that Dra Abu el-Naga was previously a sacred site where a string of worship activities took place, TornosNews reported.
Researchers are still working on the project to further observe what were planted in the funerary garden and how each plant might have a meaning. There were a few plants believed to have an association with 'return to life' symbolism such as Persea and sycamore, whilst lettuce is a connotation of fertility.