Ancient Egyptian plants: Sedges
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SedgesSedges are grass-like plants which generally grow in wet ground, have triangular stems and inconspicuous flowers. The sedge was the symbol for Lower Egypt, while the bee stood for Upper Egypt.
1] were woven from it. Its major cultural impact it gained through being used in the manufacture of papyrus which was for thousands of years the main writing
material in Egypt and was exported all over the Roman empire. After the collapse of the Western empire in the fifth century Europe was cut of from its source of papyrus and
reverted to using parchment.
The papyrus plant disappeared from Egypt, but has survived in Nubia.
The root of the plant is edible:
They pull up from the fens the papyrus which grows every year, and the upper parts of it they cut off and turn to other uses, but that which is left below for about a cubit in length they eat or sell: and those who desire to have the papyrus at its very best bake it in an oven heated red-hot, and then eat it.The plant was thought to have been the first plant to grow on the primeval mound as it was emerging from the waters of Nun, while the lotus was first to emerge from the primeval waters themselves. In temples bundles of papyrus carved in stone held up the ceiling, which symbolized the sky.
The papyrus, covering large expanses of the Nile delta, was the heraldic plant of Lower Egypt, just as the blue water lily symbolized Upper Egypt. The hieroglyph consisting of three, sometimes five, flowering papyrus plants growing out of the earth stood for the northern part of the country.
Grind a quantity of tiger nuts in a mortar.
Tomb of Rekhmire, TT 100
Tiger nuts, , were not unimportant and are often mentioned among mortuary offerings. In the Admonitions of Ipuwer their destruction is bemoaned:
Destroyed are chufa, charcoal, blue plant dye, mAaw-wood, nwt-wood, brushwood, the work of craftsmen, ca[rob (?), g]um (?), the due deliveries of the palace.
[ ] Sedge and bee: Jon Bodsworth
[ ] Men gathering papyrus: mfa
[ ] Papyrus bloom: Jon Bodsworth
 ... the priests wear garments of linen only and sandals of papyrus, and any other garment they may not take nor other sandals... (Herodotus Histories II)
 Lise Manniche, An ancient Egyptian herbal, University of Texas Press, 1989, pp.42f.
 Shaw & Nicholson 1995, p.219
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