Ancient Egyptian Plants for Kids - what kinds of plants grew in ancient Egypt? what did people use those plants for?
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Egyptian Plants

lotus
Lotus flower

Egyptian plants included many which may not be familiar to you.

The lotus and the papyrus plants, for instance, were (and are) very common in Egypt. Papyrus is a kind of reed which grows in marshy areas along the banks of the Nile River.

papyrus
Papyrus plant

There were not very many trees in ancient Egypt, because there isn't really enough water in that area to support big trees. When the Egyptians needed wood, they had to go get it on boats from Lebanon.

There were also plants which are more familiar in the United States like wheat, barley, lentils, chickpeas and various vegetables. Egypt was famous for producing huge amounts of wheat especially; under Roman rule a lot of the wheat was sent to Rome, and then later to Constantinople.

Some of the wheat was made into beer; Egypt is the only Mediterranean country where people drank beer instead of wine (though beer was also popular in Mesopotamia).

To find out more about Egyptian plants, check out these books on Amazon.com or in your local library:

Farming & Food (The Ancient Egyptians), by Jane Shuter (1998). For kids.

Everyday Life in Ancient Egypt, by Lionel Casson (revised edition 2001). Not especially for kids, but pretty entertaining reading, and Casson knows what he's talking about.

Domestication of Plants in the Old World: The Origin and Spread of Cultivated Plants in West Asia, Europe, and the Nile Valley, by Daniel Zohary (2001).

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Copyright 2012-2014 Karen Carr, Portland State University. This page last updated 2014. Powered by Dewahost.
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