Tuesday, September 13, 2005

king Tut's olive branch

An article published yesterday on the This Is Local London website about Kew Gardens mentions the role of the Royal Botanical Gardens in identifying wood in the tomb of Tutankhamun: "This discovery of boy king Tutankhamen's tomb hit the headlines in 1923 as the most sensational find of its time. But the discovery of several olive branches buried along with the pharaoh to help him in the after life is a much lesser known fact. At the time a mystery surrounded what type of plant the branches were, so a professor took a sample and sent it to the Botanical Gardens at Kew to be named. Botanists at the herbarium at Kew identified the plant as an olive branch, which still remains neatly pressed in the collection centre to this day, along with more than seven million other plant species from around the world".

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