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Peaceful funerary garden honored Egypt's dead (photos)

Funerary Garden

egypt's funerary garden

(Image credit: Copyright CSIC Communication)

In a funerary garden about 4,000 years ago, ancient Egyptians likely planted trees, shrubs and plants that symbolized rebirth and resurrection. Archaeologists found the garden in what was once ancient Thebes, an area now known as Luxor. [Read the Full Story on the Ancient Funerary Garden]

The archaeologist

egypt's funerary garden

(Image credit: Copyright CSIC Communication)

José Manuel Galán, an archaeologist with the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), led the excavation, which was called the Djehuty Project.

Overhead view

egypt's funerary garden

(Image credit: Copyright CSIC Communication)

A bird's-eye view of the funerary garden

Rectangular space

egypt's funerary garden

(Image credit: Copyright CSIC Communication)

The funerary garden is a rectangle measuring about 10 feet by 6.5 feet (3 by 2 meters) long.

The dates

egypt's funerary garden

(Image credit: Copyright CSIC Communication)

Archaeologists found a bowl filled with dates and other fruit at the site.

Ancient illustration

egypt's funerary garden

(Image credit: Copyright CSIC Communication)

Until archaeologists uncovered this site, they knew about funerary gardens only from illustrations. For instance, notice the funerary garden in the middle of this detail from a tomb.

Little chapel

egypt's funerary garden

(Image credit: Copyright CSIC Communication)

Next to the garden, archeologists found a small chapel that had three stone markers, known as stelae, within it.

Digital interpretation

egypt's funerary garden

(Image credit: Copyright CSIC Communication)

A digital reconstruction of the ancient garden

Open courtyard

egypt's funerary garden

(Image credit: Copyright CSIC Communication)

The archaeologists found the funerary garden in an open courtyard at the entrance of a Middle Kingdom rock-cut tomb.

[Read the Full Story on the Ancient Funerary Garden]

Laura Geggel

Laura is an editor at Live Science. She edits Life's Little Mysteries and reports on general science, including archaeology and animals. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Scholastic, Popular Science and Spectrum, a site on autism research. She has won multiple awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association for her reporting at a weekly newspaper near Seattle. Laura holds a bachelor's degree in English literature and psychology from Washington University in St. Louis and an advanced certificate in science writing from NYU.