Garlic - ROM2018_16363_61



Geography: Egypt
0.95 cm
Object number: 909.80.620
On view
Gallery Location:Galleries of Africa: Egypt

A species of garlic (Allium sativum) has grown wild in Egypt since Predynastic times.   It tends to be a little smaller and the taste not so strong as European garlic. Clay models of garlic have been found in the Pre-dynastic cemetery of Al-Mahasna and at Nagada. Actual bulbs of garlic have been found in the tombs at Deir el Medina and in the tomb of Tutankhamun.  It is oddly absent from the piles of food offerings often seen in wall paintings.  It may have been used medicinally rather than as a condiment.

The present specimen was brought back from Egypt by Dr. Currelly over a hundred years ago, and thus qualifies as very old, but we do not know if it was excavated from an ancient site or merely purchased in a local market.

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