plants and flowers
Blessed with highly fertile soil in the Nile Valley, the Delta, and the Faiyum, ancient Egypt produced a wide variety of plants and flowers that could be used for food, seasonings, medicine, perfume, ointments, and oils. Plant fibers went into the production of a variety of items such as baskets, brushes, pillows (which were often stuffed with herbs), ropes, and even boats. For most ancient Egyptians, gardening was both a functional activity and a pleasurable hobby, providing not only food but also decorative and symbolic plants and flowers for household use. In addition, ancient Egypt had government-run gardens to provide plants for various royal craftsmen and flowers for festivals, religious ceremonies, and other state functions.
However, Egyptologists have yet to determine exactly which plants, herbs, and flowers were available to Egyptians in different eras of their history, although botanists have identified various species by studying artwork and by examining plant matter entombed in ancient trash heaps. Botanists in the field of Egyptology have found valuable information in the tomb of King Tutankhamun, which included many specimens of plants and flowers, including a wreath placed on one of the king's coffins. From such information, Egyptologists know that the lotus flower was among the most important ancient Egyptian plants, because its scent was believed to soothe the gods. Indeed, all fragrant flowers were particularly important in ancient Egyptian life, used as a sign of greeting and for a variety of religious rituals.