The Indo-Asiatic Origin of Gas, The Ancient Egyptian Name for the Wild Sugar Cane (Saccharum Spontaneum L.)

Abstract

This

article establishes unprecedented connections between the Ancient Egyptian term GAS, usually translated as 'rush' and 'reed' with various cognates in different Indian languages qualifying the Kans grass (Saccharum spontaneum). Hence confirming the link made by Loret in 1904 between GAS and that very species, as well as presenting a clear case of a late plant transhumance eastwards to Egypt as the centre of origin of the Kans grass is clearly identified by botanists as being Indo-Asiatic. The article ends by questioning the reasons of the arrival of the Kans grass in Egypt nearly two millenia before its related species, the sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum).

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de Vartavan, C., (2014) “The Indo-Asiatic Origin of Gas, The Ancient Egyptian Name for the Wild Sugar Cane (Saccharum Spontaneum L.)”, Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections 6(2), p.62-64. doi: https://doi.org/10.2458/azu_jaei_v06i2_de_vartavan2

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Christian de Vartavan (Yerevan State University, Armenia)

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