Detail of Plant Bouquet

Photographer Harry Burton British

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 132

When Tutankhamun's tomb was reopened, more than three thousand years had passed, but the plant bouquets found inside were in excellent, if fragile, condition. The lower sections of sizable bouquets were bound tightly (as shown here) to create a handle shape that enabled them to be carried, likely in the funeral procession.

Unlike the garlands, these bouquets did not include flowers; they were made primarily of twigs from evergreen Persea plants and olive trees. Ancient Egyptians associated plants and the color green with life, and the arrangements probably signified regeneration and everlasting life. Similar bouquets were also deposited in the tombs of nonroyal people.

Detail of Plant Bouquet, Harry Burton (British (1879–1940)), Gelatin silver print from glass negative

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