Saturday, September 04, 2021

Pomegranate in ancient world

Pomegranate are originated from central Asia. Pomegranate has an important place in the ancient cultures of the Mediterranean countries. It was cultivated in ancient Egypt and in early Greece and Italy. The fruit which was described by the Greek botanist Theophrastus about 2350 years before the present (BP) and is mentioned in many Greek and Turkish myths.

Edible pomegranates were firstly reported to be cultivated in Iran during 3000 BC. It was recorded that pomegranate cultivation in about 2200 B.C comes from the ancient civilization of Sumer, located in the lower Tigris and Euphrates valley, approximately the area of present-day Basra, Iraq. It is believed that the pomegranate was brought into the area by people who were migrating from the Zagros Mountains— on the present-day Iran and Iraq border.

Phoenicians established Mediterranean Sea colonies in North Africa and brought pomegranates to Tunisia and Egypt by 2000 BC. The Phoenicians were great traders who sent many ships to ports in the Mediterranean Basin.

During that time, pomegranates also naturalized around the world and reached China by 100 BC over the Silk Road.

It was probably introduced into Greece and the areas surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, as far west as Spain and Portugal by ancient sailors and traders.

Ancient traders in Central Asia and the Middle East referred to the pomegranate as the “fruit of paradise.” Arabian caravans carried the fruit with other trade goods and spices, as well as the water and food they transported to provision the travelers.

Cultivation of the pomegranates in the Roman Empire and Spain is estimated to be in 800s. It was introduced in the Indian Peninsula from Iran during the 1st century AD and was found growing in Indonesia in 1416 AD.

The Spanish sailors brought pomegranates to the New World and some missionaries introduced pomegranate in Mexico and California. The first clear evidence that the pomegranate was in the area to become the United States was in the early 1700s, when they were grown in Spanish Florida and English Georgia.
Pomegranate in ancient world

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