Photo by Melody

Queen Hatshepsut

By Mitch Fitzgerald (MitchFDecember 30, 2008

Long believed lost in the annals of time, the famous Queen Hatshepsut was mostly unknown beyond a few scholars. Yet this Queen of ancient Egypt is noted among the ranks of the most famous gardeners the world over - read on and find out why.

Gardening picture

In June, 2007 a mummy was discovered to have been the long lost Pharaoh/Queen Hatshepsut. It was a shadow of the woman that made such a great plant and garden first. There were signs of diabetes and cancer in the mummy and it was clear she had lived the end of her life in terrible pain. With this simple discovery, memories of her life and the wonderful story she has to share come back to greet us once again.

Queen Hatshepsut came to the throne after her husband died and before her heir could reach an age to be Pharaoh. These years held peace and prosperity for Egypt and her people. The biggest event of her reign is the travel and voyages into the Land of Punt. The purpose for the trip was to gather Myrrh - said to be her favorite scent, and 31 live frankincense trees, the roots of which were carefully kept in baskets for the duration of the voyage. This was the first time in history that anyone we have records of tried to move a plant from one area and grow it in another. This was not a locally found plant, this would be the first mail order buying if you will, the first zone pushing too, and the first time people had to worry about what a plant not normally found in the area needed or wanted. Sadly, we are not told if the trees lived or died after their long voyage but something should be noted for this first in the history of mankind.

So, the next time you scour the auctions looking for that perfect plant or scan through millions of catalogs looking for that perfect plant, you are taking part in a ritual that dates back to 1495 B.C.. When you sit waiting for the mailman to bring you the wonderful treasures, you will know how the ancient Egyptians felt looking over the high walls of the stone temples, waiting for the return of their ships with the plants they longed for. When the box comes and you tear it open, looking in awe at those wonderful plants that are there at long last, you are feeling the same feeling of wonder and awe that Queen Hatshepsut felt when she saw those wonderful baskets being raised up from the haul of the ships.

So when the box comes and you start to hang your head, lift it up high knowing you are taking part in a story that has been playing around the world from the days of ancient Egypt. Know in your heart there is something deep in the heart of the gardener that longs for the plants from far off places. Know that it is not really your fault - after all you are just replaying one of the greatest events in history - right?



This image is under a GNU Free Documentation License from Wikipedia. This is a image of a known statue of Queen Hatshepsut in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

1 Wilford, John Noble. "Tooth May Have Solved Mummy Mystery", New York Times, 2007-06-27



  About Mitch Fitzgerald  
Mitch FitzgeraldI am a pentecostal preacher, gardener,husband, and a father. I love natives, daylilies, iris, and roses. I love teaching others, be they children or adults, about the garden and plants.

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