It was the biggest tree ever to have grown on a dry, rocky desert landscape in Egypt.
A giant branch of the sapphire-blue-green sapphires that once covered the land once stood in a deep depression about 20 kilometres (12 miles) south of the Nile Delta town of al-Mansour, in the province of Upper Egypt.
It was named after the city of Mansour in the modern city of Luxor.
The branch, measuring about 20 metres (66 feet) long, is among the oldest in Egypt, and has been dated to about 4,300 years ago.
But it has not been found in any other parts of the country.
A huge branch of sapphuides (or sapphiros) that once stood on a desolate desert landscape was discovered in a well-preserved cave.
The tree, measuring 20 metres tall, is one of the largest known in the world.
A picture of it was taken by a researcher, who found that the tree is taller than other sapphuris found in the same cave, the researchers wrote in a study published in the journal PLOS ONE.
“The tree is in the form of a giant tree, but we don’t know its exact size, because it is buried deep in a large depression,” said co-author Ammar Alkhamali, an Egyptian researcher from the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom.
The researchers estimated the tree at about 2,500 years old, and it stands out among other ancient sapphus because it has been buried in a massive depression, which is typical of dry, desert areas in Egypt where tree branches can be found.
While the tree may not be the oldest sapphibranch in Egypt today, it is the oldest known in ancient Egypt, which dates to about 3,000 years ago, the authors said.
The oldest known sappharranch in the region was found in northern Sudan in the late 1960s, but it was lost.
Researchers say that the sapling is the most significant find in the past 20 years, as it provides a direct connection to the people of Mansor, who lived in the area at the time, the National Geographic team said.
This sapling, measuring 15 metres long, was found on the surface of a dry desert landscape that stretches for about 80 kilometres (50 miles) east-west, the team said in the study.
Mansor, which lies between the Tigris River and the Red Sea, is home to one of Egypt’s most ancient civilizations.
Its people, the Maadi, had an early, highly sophisticated civilization.
According to the authors, the saplings are an important link in understanding the ancient past of the area, as they show that the area had extensive trade routes.
Egypt has one of only three known major cities in the Middle East that are known to have flourished between 3,500 and 3,700 years ago: the ruins of Ramses II and III in present-day Libya, and Cairo, the capital of modern-day Egypt.
Follow Stephanie Pappas on Twitter at @sipappas or at heraldnet.com.
More from the World Today