Watermelons in Ancient Egypt

I wondered if anyone could throw some light on a fruity puzzle I’ve happened upon concerning watermelons! In a recent post from the EEF Friday digest, it was noted that the watermelon was known in ancient Egypt. The post went on to say that the name for this fruit ‘bddw-kA’ has been found in inscriptions ‘although not with full certainty, as apparently the fruit is never depicted’. (EEF Digest 28th July 2011). This struck me as curious – if this is the case, does anyone have any idea why the watermelon is ‘never depicted’ in Egyptian art? I suspect the answer may be mundane, though with the ‘kA’ sign within the Egyptian name for this fruit and the watermelon’s red/black inner flesh and seeds, I’m intrigued! Anyone else have any odd food facts from AE?


Barbara O’Neill