“There is a popular belief that wheat found in the ancient sepulchres of Egypt will not only germinate after the lapse of 3,000 years, but produce ears of extraordinary size and beauty. The question is undecided; but Antonio Figari-Bey’s paper, addressed to the Egyptian Institute at Alexandria, appears much against it. One kind of wheat which Figari-Bey employed for his experiments had been found in Upper Egypt, at the bottom of a tomb at Medinet-Aboo. The form of the grains had not changed, but their color, both without and within, had become reddish, as if they had been exposed to smoke. On being sown in moist ground, on the ninth day their decomposition was complete. No trace of any germination could be discovered.”

Scientific American, July 1864

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