Voluntary palynologist Pim de Klerk (Museum of Natural History, Karlsruhe) and Hans Joosten (Institute of Botany and Landscape Ecology, Greifswald University) have initiated a research project entitled “How ancient cultures perceived mires and wetlands”.

In order to asses the cultural value of mires, peatlands, marshes and other
wetlands, the researchers are currently involved in an inventory how these landscape types were experienced by ancient societies.

They base their inventory presominantly on ancient texts and pictures, and
of course the extensive ancient Egyptian papyrus reeds and their depiction
play an important role. However, although they have done a lot of reading, the researchers admit they are not trained in ancient history, archaeology, or
linguistics and still feel insecure if they understand the Egyptian culture and
religion accurately.

They have a few publications:
The paper in which they introduce the project is available on
Furthermore they have a preprint on a minor text analysis of the
“Tale of the herdsman” on

The two researchers would be happy for any feedback so they can improve and correct their ideas for future presentations and publications.