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Description - Earthly Paradises by Maureen Carroll

This study brings together archaeological and literary evidence surrounding ancient gardens and also examines the tasks and role of gardeners; at the same time assessing the evidence for various types of plants and trees, and for ancient horticultural practices,

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780714127682
ISBN-10: 071412768X
Format: Hardback
(215mm x 215mm x mm)
Pages: 144
Imprint: British Museum Press
Publisher: British Museum Press
Publish Date: 1-Mar-2003
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - Earthly Paradises by Maureen Carroll

UK Kirkus Review » Since the earliest civilizations, mankind has had an irrepressible urge to grow things, whether out of necessity or simply for decorative pleasure. Maureen Carroll investigates the very earliest of these gardens, from the second millennium BC to the middle of the first millennium AD. She finds early horticultural remains in Greece, Egypt, and the Roman Empire amongst others, sourcing her evidence from ancient murals, mosaics and actual archaeological remains. While the plants and tools of these gardens have long disappeared, she manages to gather a wealth of information, supported by sumptuous illustrations. Carroll reveals not only garden plans and planting schemes, but even discovers the various soils and composts used, often radically different from the materials we use today, containing bones, mollusc shells and even building material. Gardens and groves were often sacred places in the ancient world; the Egyptians especially looked forward to enjoying their gardens in the afterlife, as seen in myriad tomb decorations. But they were also a symbol of power and status in the real world, with artificial lakes, arbours and terraces, requiring much physical labour to provide the nobility with suitable pleasure gardens for rest and relaxation. Such hot countries, including Mesopotamia, held shady, fruit-bearing trees in high regard, finding spiritual and physical relief in them. Even though many of the parks and gardens in this book have long vanished, some have been restored to their original glory. This is especially true of Roman estates; there is much physical and documented data to show us that they favoured a formal style, lawns edged with box and oleander, water features to provide a temperate atmosphere. Wherever man has lived, whatever nation he has conquered, he has taken his horticultural knowledge and his favourite plants, thus encouraging the proliferation of species. From public parks and temple gardens, to humble backyards, this book is an absorbing revelation of the origins of one of our favourite pastimes. (Kirkus UK)

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Author Biography - Maureen Carroll

Dr Maureen Carroll obtained a BA in Classics at Brock University (Canada), before being awarded an MA and PhD in Classical Archaeology at Indiana University (USA). From 1986 to 1997 she was the director of Roman and Medieval excavations in Heidelberg, Dusseldorf and Cologne in Germany, and she has excavated extensively in Cyprus, Tunisia and Italy. She is currently Lecturer in Roman Archaeology in the Department of Archaeology and Prehistory at the University of Sheffield. She has published widely on the archaeology of Greek and Roman gardens, and on Roman and Medleval Germany.

Books By Maureen Carroll

Spirits of the Dead by Maureen Carroll
Paperback, January 2011
Consuming Passions by Maureen Carroll
Paperback, September 2005
Edinburgh by Maureen Carroll
Hardback, July 2004
Romans, Celts & Germans by Maureen Carroll
Paperback, March 2001