|48||THE ANCIENT BOTANY.|
vicinity, too, of Cnidos and in the island of Rhodes " (cp. also Theoph.," H. P.," i, 11 ; Diosc., i, 158 ; Strabo, xvii, 2, 1). The truth of Pliny's statement, however, may be doubted, for pods and seeds of the tree have been discovered also at Gurob and at Kahun (see § 91), and Mr. Greville Chester has found some in tombs at Thebes. From the quantity of lupins found and from several remarks on them made by the old Greek authors, it would appear that they were extensively cultivated in Egypt in Graeco-Roman times. The lupin was formerly supposed to be a native of Egypt (Schweinfurth, " Plantae Nilot. a Hartmann," col. 6), but this Schweinfurth and Ascherson now consider doubtful ("Aufzahlung," &c., p. 257). According to Boissier (" Fl. Or.," ii, 29) its natural habitat is Syria. The Latthyrus sativus, L., was probably introduced into Egypt by the Greeks, who probably cultivated it from an early period for use as fodder and also for its seeds (Theoph., " H. P.," viii, 2, 10,&e.). It is, according to Alph. de Candolle, a native of Western Asia. The four almond stones found by Mr. Petrie belong to two distinct varieties. One is very similar in shape (though somewhat smaller) to the Jordan almond of the present day. The other three stones are much rounder in shape and much more like those of the variety now known as the Smyrna almond. It has been suggested that these stones reached Egypt by way of commerce, but, from the fact that they were all still enclosed in the fleshy mesocarp when found, this may be doubted. It is hardly likely that the stones would not have been separated from the fibrous and coriaceous covering before being packed for exportation. At the present day the almond-tree is often to be found under cultivation in the gardens of Egypt, but it has nowhere been discovered wild in the country. It was at an early period known to the Greeks (Theoph., "H. P.," i, 2, &c.) and to the Hebrews (Jer. i, 11, &c.). Several varieties are mentioned by the old botanical writers of Greece and Italy as having been cultivated in ancient times, but those that were grown in the Island of Naxos, in the Aegean Sea, were, according to Athenaeus (ii, 39), superior to all others. The cherry, a native of Southern Europe, was probably introduced into the Fayûm gardens by the Greek colonists. The mulberry, a native of Armenia and of Northern Persia (Alph. de Candolle, " O. of Cult. Plants," p. 151), must have been introduced previous to the XIXth dynasty, for it is not unfrequently mentioned in the hieroglyphic inscriptions of that date. The hazel nut found was probably not a product of Egypt; it is more likely to have reached Hawara by means of trade, perhaps from Pontus, in Asia Minor, where, Pliny tells us (" H. N." xv, 24), it was in his time extensively cultivated. The onion found at Hawara, on the other hand, was undoubtedly grown in the country; indeed, it was one of the principal vegetables of the Egyptians. The Greeks and Romans also extensively cultivated it, but of all the varieties known in early times, the "Egyptian" variety was the most esteemed (Athen., ii 65).
The following twenty-four names complete the list of species which have been determined from among the plant-remains discovered at Hawara: -
Nymphaea lotus, Hook.
In glancing over the above list, and also the former one printed in "Hawara, Biahmu, and Arsinoë," we cannot help being struck by the fact that the majority of plants named are not natives of Egypt, but of Greece, Asia Minor, Mesopotamia, Persia, Central Africa, Ceylon, and other distant countries. They are, moreover, nearly all "garden" flowers, fruits, and vegetables, and among them, it is interesting to note, occur many species which are still cultivated by the gardeners of the present day. Thus there is the rose, myrtle, jasmine, mignonette, convolvulus, celosia, narcissus, ivy, lychnis, sweet marjoram, iris, henna, bay laurel, poppy, acacia, willow herb, purple cornflower,
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