Herbs, Flowers and Plants

Antique natural materials such as stones, shells and plants.

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Experience the Antique World of Herbs and Plants

For example, nigella sativa, known to us as black cumin, was appreciated not only by the Romans. Also Greeks like Hippocrates praised the healing properties of the plant. At the Museum in Cairo, a small bottle of black cumin oil can be seen as a grave giving from the tomb of the Egyptian Pharaoh Tutanchamun (1350 BC).

Or safflower (carthamus tinctorius L.), the Arabic Qurthum, is evidenced by tombs and also by a note in the writings of Pliny (XXI, 53, 56) who calls it Cnicus. According to him, the plant is famous for the oil that can be made from its seeds, the "oleum cnecium aegyptiacum". Then, there is a rare species of wheat! Our bundle of spikes is made to give an insight into the different varieties that were available in the Roman times. The Romans called wheat "far", hence the flour was given the name of "farina". Or, we offer the woolly soft stems from kapok that is grown in the Roman provinces of North Africa. After opening the big banana like pepper, which grows on trees, the cuddly wool fiber can be touched. It is wonderfully soft! What a surprise!

The Roman gardens of Pompeii

Pompei is one of the most important witnesses to Roman civilization and still today gives us insights into how Roman everyday life looked like, Roman art, customs and their professions. Mount Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79 and Pompeii was covered by a huge layer of ash. Under it the city remained buried for centuries. Excavations began already in 1748. Over the years, the whole city came back to the fore. The archaeologists found high-rise public buildings, temples, countless shops and taverns. With the buildings were found some furnitures of homes and shops with numerous wall decorations that testify to Roman daily life. Stately patrician villas came to light and also modest apartment buildings.

The dwellings of farmers were located around gardens or small areas of agricultural spots. In the houses silver and gold items, tools and utensils were preserved bronze and clay lamps and food of any kind. Blacksmith workshops, food and vegetable shops and counters for the beverage serving show how the Romans lived in the first century of our era. Many of those finds have inspired us to recreate them for you.

Witnesses of the Past

Romans loved their gardens and cultivated there all kinds of herbs and medicinal plants. Columella and Pliny the Younger left us descriptions of such gardens. In their reports we find over 100 plants. In the following category we have brought together silent, dried "witnesses" of the past, plants that were used by Romans, Greeks and Egyptians.