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the Land of Punt

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Kothar Bishop
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« on: July 12, 2007, 03:01:26 pm »

Land of Punt


Egypt is the source of the earliest written descriptions of the people that resided in the areas that is Ethiopia and Eritrea today. This area was known to the Egyptians as Punt. As early as the third millennium BCE, the Egyptian inscriptions indicate that they traded with people from the land of Punt, which sometimes they also called ‘Gods’ Land’.

The actual place of Punt is not known but the Egyptians did sail south along the Red Sea to trade with people from Punt. Punt, to the Egyptians, could have meant the entire Red Sea region including Somalia. But if one observes Egypt’s exports, gold, ivory, exotic animals, and incense, one can surmise that, at the least, Ethiopia was a part of Punt.

The earliest of these expeditions were probably taken by foot along the Nile. One of the earliest recorded sailing expedition was taken by King Sahure in the Fifth Dynasty (2465 – 2325 BCE). But trade with the two peoples could have started “as early as the First Dynasty (3100 – 2890 BCE) for the pharos of the time were in position of myrrh. (Breasted 127)” Myrrh is an aromatic gum-resin plant used by the Egyptians to “honor the gods and in embalming the dead.” It was also used “for medicinal and cosmetic purposed. (Nibbi 56)” There was plenty of myrrh to be found in Ethiopia.
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Kothar Bishop
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« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2007, 03:02:01 pm »

http://ethiopianhistory.com/articles.php?id=Land%20of%20Punt

The most famous expedition dispatched to Punt was by Queen Hatshepsut in the Eighteenth Dynasty (1540 – 1304 BCE). In her funerary temple at Deir el-Bahri, detailed descriptions of trade between Punt and the Egyptians are carved on the wall (picture above). On one of the reliefs, the boats from Egypt have arrived at Punt and are stopped on the beaches. The Egyptians offer “strings of beads, axes, and weapons” and the people of Punt in exchange have “gold, ivory … and precious myrrh-tress.” (Aldred 135-6)
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Kothar Bishop
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« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2007, 03:02:41 pm »

Ancient African History: The Land of Punt
Petrie, W.M. Flinders. The Making of Egypt, London. New York, Sheldon Press; Macmillan, 1939



Page 77

"Some of the most obvious public works of the 1st dynasty were the carrying on of earlier undertakings. The great historical maces, and the irrigation works, had been developed under the Scorpion king of the Aunu, and both may have originated much earlier. Many vases and bowls bear his name."
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Kothar Bishop
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« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2007, 03:03:17 pm »

"Origins in Elam and Punt. The distinctive character of the 1st dynasty, which separates it from all that went before, is the conquest and union of the whole land of Egypt. It became thus subject to the falcon-bearing tribe of Horus, which was the natural enemy of the Aunu, the Set-bearing tribe. This falcon tribe had certainly originated in Elam, as indicated by the hero and lions on the "Araq knife handle". They went down the Persian Gulf and settled in the "horn of Africa." There they named the "Land of Punt," sacred to later Egyptians as the source of the race. The Pun people founded the island fortress of Ha-fun, which commands the whole of that coast, and hence came the Punic or Phoenic peoples of classical history. Those who went up the Red Sea formed the dynastic invaders of Egypt, entering by the Qocier-Koptos road. Others went on to Syria and founded Tyre, Sidon and Aradus, named after their home islands in the Persian Gulf (Strabo, XVI, iii, 4). This migration formed the basis of the great spread of Puni, by the colonies of Carthage around the Mediterranean, and into the Atlantic on both north and south."--W.M. Flinders Petrie
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Kothar Bishop
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« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2007, 03:04:02 pm »

The oldest known expedition to Punt was organized by Pharaoh Sahure of the 5th dynasty (2458-2446 BC). Also around 1950 BC, in the time of King Mentuhotep III, 11th dynasty (2004-1992 BC), an officer named Hennu and three thousand men from the south transported material for building ships through Wadi Hammamat, and to Punt acquiring a number of exotic products including incense, perfume and gum was brought to Egypt. A very famous expedition was for Queen Hatshepsut in the 18th dynasty
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Kothar Bishop
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« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2007, 03:04:59 pm »

(1473-1458 BC). It was formed of five ships, each measuring 70 feet long, and with several sails. These accommodated 210 men, including sailors and 30 rowers, and was led by the Nubian general "Nehsi". They departed at Quseir on the Red Sea for what was primarily a trading mission, seeking frankincense and myrrh, and fragrant unguents used for cosmetics and in religious ceremonies. However, they also brought back exotic animals and plants, ivory, silver and gold. A report of this voyage is left behind as temple reliefs in Deir el-Bahri, Egypt (see reliefs below). The reliefs shows the departure of the expedition, its arrival at the mysterious land, the landing of the ships with the gifts by the Puntine leader to Hatshepsut, and the preparations for the return voyage. The temple reliefs also showed the features of the Puntine people, who were black Africans, as well as another race much resembling Egyptians. Donkeys were depicted as the method of transporting goods, and white dogs guarding the people’s houses. Birds, monkeys, leopards and hippopotamus are also seen, as well as giraffes which are typical African animals, to live in Punt. The Nubian Nehsi is then shown in front of his tent with a banquet offered to his guests, and observing the gifts presented.
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Kothar Bishop
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« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2007, 03:05:44 pm »

And then there is the story of The Shipwrecked Sailor, 2200 BC which references Punt.
chief of Punt "Parakhu";
his wife queen "Aty"

Original copy at the Museum at Cairo (No. 34419)
Breasted, James Henry, Ph.D., Ancient Records of Egypt, Historical Documents, Vol. II, 1906


Pages 102-104


"These are undoubtedly the most interesting series of relief's in Egypt, and form almost our only early source of information for the land of Punt. They are as beautiful in execution as they are important in content. They record an important expedition of the queen thither, which was successfully concluded just before her ninth year."
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« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2007, 03:06:23 pm »

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"The only earlier evidences of intercourse with Punt are as follows: In the Fourth Dynasty a Puntite negro appears as the slave of one of the sons of King Khufu, in the Fifth, King Sahure sent an expedition thither, and King Isesi sent another, which brought back a dancing dwarf; in the Sixth, an officer of Pepi II, named Enenkhet, was killed by the Sand-dwellers on the coast, while building a ship for the Punt voyage, and another expedition thither under the the same king was led by assistant treasurer, Thethy; in the Eleventh Dynasty, Henu, chief treasurer of King Senekhkere-Mentuhoptep III, dispatched an expedition to Punt, which he accompanied only to the coast of the Red Sea; in the Twelfth Dynasty, an officer of Amenemhet II, named Khentkhetwer, records his safe return from Punt; and finally there was also an expedition under Sesostris II."
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Kothar Bishop
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« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2007, 03:06:54 pm »

"The question of the location of Punt is too large for discussion here, but is was certainly in Africa, and probably was the Somali coast."


"Historically, it is important to note that Thutmose III appears only once in the Punt reliefs, and that in a subordinate position, so that, as far as this source is concerned, the queen is the author of the expedition, which she undertakes in accordance with an oracle of Amon".


Page 117
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« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2007, 03:07:41 pm »

Punt under the Queen


"But I will cause thy army to tread them, I have led them on water and on land, to explore the waters of inaccessible channels, and I have reached the Myrrh-terraces. It is a glorious region of God's-Land; it is indeed my place of delight. I have made it for myself, in order to divert my heart, together with Mut, Hathor, Wereret (Isis), mistress of Punt, the mistress, 'Great in Sorcery', mistress of all gods. They took myrrh as they wished, they loaded the vessels to their hearts' content, with fresh myrrh trees, every good gift of this country, Puntites whom the people know not, Southerns of God's-Land. I conciliated them by love that they might give to thee praise, because thou art a god, because of thy fame in the countries. I know them, I am their wise lord, I am the begetter, Amon-Re; my daughter, who binds the lords, is the king [Makere] (Hatshepsut). I have begotten her for myself. I am thy father, who sets thy fear among the Nine Bows, while they come in peace to all gods. They have brought all the marvels, every beautiful thing of God's-Land, for which thy majesty sent them: heaps of gum of myrrh, and enduring trees bearing fresh myrrh, united in the festival-hall, to be seen of the lord of the gods. May thy majesty cause them to grow. My temple, in order to delight my heart among them. My name is before the gods, thy name is before all the living, forever. Heaven and earth are flooded with incense; odors are in the Great House. Mayest thou offer them to me, pure and cleansed, in order to express the ointment for the divine limbs, to offer myrrh, to make ointment, to make festive my statue with necklaces, while I am making libations for thee. My heart is glad because of seeing thee."--James Henry Breasted
The loading of the ships.
Plate from The Road to Punt, F.D.P. Wicker, The Journal of African History, Vol. 12, No. 1 (1971), 162.
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Kothar Bishop
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« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2007, 03:08:26 pm »

Tapping frankincense tree in Tigray, northern Ethiopia
Frankincense & Myrrh Incense

Indigenous to Somalia, Africa


Frankincense and myrrh were the first tree resins (sap) used by the Ancient Egyptians. They were burned to clear the air in sickrooms and during religious ceremonies to drive away evil spirits.


Frankincense: Clears the mind, spirit and lungs. Has a calming effect in stressful situations. With its warming and soothing effects on the mind and emotions it is excellent for meditation and prayer.


Myrrh (aka Myrrha): Has a calming effect on the nervous system, quiets the mind and has a soothing grounding quality. Good for people who are afraid to speak for themselves, Myrrh helps build confidence.
Additional Information:


Today, the frankincense-yielding areas in Somalia are still extensive, but the trees are confined to mountain areas, which makes collection difficult; the stands on the coast have long since been destroyed. The trees introduced into Egypt have like wise vanished, and only the bas-reliefs in Thebes are left to tell the story of the wonderland of Punt. -- [forestry department]


Punt and Aksum: Egypt and the Horn of Africa, Jacke Phillips, The Journal of African History, Vo. 38, No. 3 (1997), 423-457


Punt was a Semitic confederation and included many groups from Ethiopia and Somali.
Frankincense and myrrh for sale in a Jerusalem market.

http://www.homestead.com/wysinger/punt.html
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Kothar Bishop
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« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2007, 03:09:08 pm »

Tales of Ancient Egypt:

The Shipwrecked Sailor (2200 BCE)


GOING TO WAWAT


XIITH DYNASTY


THE wise servant said, "Let thy heart be satisfied, O my lord, for that we have come back to the country; after we have been long on board, and rowed much, the prow has at last touched land. All the people rejoice and embrace us one after another. Moreover, we have come back in good health, and not a man is lacking; although we have been to the ends of Wawat [Nubia], and gone through the land of Senmut [Kush], we have returned in peace, and our land---behold, we have come back to it. Hear me, my lord;

I have no other refuge. Wash thee, and turn the water over thy fingers; then go and tell the tale to the majesty."


His lord replied, "Thy heart continues still its wandering words! but although the mouth of a man may save him his words may also cover his face with confusion. Will you do then as your heart moves you? This that you will say, tell quietly."


The sailor then answered, "Now I shall tell that which has happened to me, to my very self. I was going to the mines of Pharaoh, and I went down on the sea in a ship of one hundred and fifty cubits long and forty cubits wide, with one hundred and fifty sailors of the best of Egypt who had seen heaven and earth, and whose hearts were stronger than lions. They had said that the wind would not be contrary, or that there would be none. But as we approached the land, the wind arose, and threw up waves eight cubits high. As for me, I seized a piece of wood; but those who were in the vessel perished, without one remaining. A wave threw me on an island, after that I had been three days alone, without a companion beside my own heart. I laid me in a thicket, and the shadow covered me. Then stretched I my limbs to try to find something for my mouth. I found there figs and grain, melons of all kinds, fishes, and birds. Nothing was lacking. And I satisfied myself; and left on the ground that which was over, of what my arms had been filled withal. I dug a pit, I lighted a fire, and I made a burnt offering unto the gods.


"Suddenly I heard a noise as of thunder, which I thought to be that of a wave of the sea. The trees shook, and the earth was moved. I uncovered my face, and I saw that a serpent drew near. He was thirty cubits long, and his beard greater than two cubits; his body was as overlaid with gold, and his color as that of true lazuli. He coiled himself before me. "Then he opened his mouth, while that I lay on my face before him, and he said to me, "What has brought you, what has brought you, little one, what has brought you? If you say not speedily what has brought you to this isle, I will make you know yourself; as a flame you shall vanish, if you tell me not something I have not heard, or which I knew not, before you.'


"Then he took me in his mouth and carried me to his resting-place, and laid me down without any hurt. I was whole and sound, and nothing was gone from me. Then he opened his mouth against me, while that I lay on my face before him, and he said, "What has brought you, what has brought you, little one, what has brought you to this isle which is in the sea, and of which the shores are in the midst of the waves?'


"Then I replied to him, and holding my arms low before him, I said to him, "I was embarked for the mines by the order of the majesty, in a ship, one hundred and fifty cubits was its length, and the width of it forty cubits. It had one hundred and fifty sailors of the best of Egypt, who had seen heaven and earth, and the hearts of whom were stronger than lions. They said that the wind would not be contrary, or that there would be none. Each of them exceeded his companion in the prudence of his heart and the strength of his arm, and I was not beneath any of them. A storm came upon us while we were on the sea. Hardly could we reach to the shore when the wind waxed yet greater, and the waves rose even eight cubits. As for me, I seized a piece of wood, while those who were in the boat perished without one being left with me for three days. Behold me now before you, for I was brought to this isle by a wave of the sea.'


"Then said he to me, "Fear not, fear not, little one, and make not your face sad. If you have come to me, it is God who has let you live. For it is He who has brought you to this isle of the blest, where nothing is lacking, and which is filled with all good things. See now, you shall pass one month after another, until you shall be four months in this isle. Then a ship shall come from your land with sailors, and you shall leave with them and go to your country, and you shall die in your town.'


'"Converse is pleasing, and he who tastes of it passes over his misery. I will therefore tell you of that which is in this isle. I am here with my brethren and my children around me; we are seventy-five serpents, children, and kindred; without naming a young girl who was brought unto me by chance, and on whom the fire of heaven fell, and burned her to ashes. As for you, if you are strong, and if your heart waits patiently, you shall press your infants to your bosom and embrace your wife. You shall return to your house which is full of all good things, you shall see your land, where you shall dwell in the midst of your kindred.'
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« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2007, 03:09:48 pm »

THE FAREWELL


"Then I bowed in my obeisance, and I touched the ground before him. "Behold now that which I have told you before. I shall tell of your presence unto Pharaoh, I shall make him to know of your greatness, and I will bring to you of the sacred oils and perfumes, and of incense of the temples with which all gods are honored. I shall tell, moreover, of that which I do now see (thanks to him), and there shall be rendered to you praises before the fullness of all the land. I shall slay asses for you in sacrifice, I shall pluck for you the birds, and I shall bring for you ships full of all kinds of the treasures of Egypt, as is comely to do unto a god, a friend of men in a far country, of which men know not.'


"Then he smiled at my speech, because of that which was in his heart, for he said to me: "You are not rich in perfumes, for all that you have is but common incense. As for me, I am prince of the land of Punt, and I have perfumes. Only the oil which you say you would bring is not common in this isle. But, when you shall depart from this place, you shall never more see this isle; it shall be changed into waves.'


"And behold, when the ship drew near, according to all that he had told me before, I got up into an high tree, to strive to see those who were within it. Then I came and told to him this matter, but it was already known unto him before. Then he said to me, "Farewell, farewell, go to your house, little one, see again your children, and let your name be good in your town; these are my wishes for you.'


"Then I bowed myself before him, and held my arms low before him, and he, he gave me gifts of precious perfumes, of cassia, of sweet woods, of kohl, of cypress, an abundance of incense, of ivory tusks, of baboons, of apes, and all kinds of precious things. I embarked all in the ship which was come, and bowing myself, I prayed God for him. Then he said to me, "Behold you shall come to your country in two months, you shall press to your bosom your children, and you shall rest in your tomb.' After this I went down to the shore unto the ship, and I called to the sailors who were there. Then on the shore I rendered adoration to the master of this isle and to those who dwelt therein.


"When we shall come, in our return, to the house of Pharaoh, in the second month, according to all that the serpent has said, we shall approach unto the palace. And I shall go in before Pharaoh, I shall bring the gifts which I have brought from this isle into the country. Then he shall thank me before the fullness of the land. Grant then unto me a follower, and lead me to the courtiers of the king. Cast your eye upon me after that I have both seen and proved this. Hear my prayer, for it is good to listen to people. It was said unto me, "Become a wise man, and you shall come to honor,' and behold I have become such."


This is finished from its beginning unto its end, even as it was found in a writing. It is written by the scribe of cunning fingers, Ameni-amenaa; may he live in life, wealth, and health!


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Source:


From: Eva March Tappan, ed., The World's Story: A History of the World in Story, Song and Art, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1914), Vol. III: Egypt, Africa, and Arabia, trans. W. K. Flinders Petrie, pp. 41-46.


Scanned by: J. S. Arkenberg, Dept. of History, Cal. State Fullerton. Prof. Arkenberg has modernized the text.


Papyrus Leningrad 1115: Hieratic and hieroglyphic texts.

This tale is only known in one copy, preserved in the Hermitage collection at St. Petersburg, Russia .

http://www.homestead.com/wysinger/shipwrecked.html
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Kothar Bishop
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« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2007, 03:10:21 pm »

King Sahure and a Nome God (2458-2446 B.C.)

http://www.homestead.com/wysinger/kingsahure.html

Egyptian Old Kingdom, Dynasty V (2498-2491 B.C.)


Fifth Dynasty


This dynasty stemmed from the growing of the priesthood of Heliopolis. A legend in the Westcar Papyrus relates that the first three kings of the Fifth Dynasty were offspring of the god Re and a lady named Radjeded, wife of a priest at Heliopolis. These three brothers were Weserkaf, Sahure and Neferirkare. Sahure is known chiefly for the splendid bas-reliefs which decorated his funerary temple at Abusir, north of Sakkara (Saqqara). It is well known that, though the royal pyramids of the Fifth Dynasty were far smaller than the great tombs of the Fourth Dynasty and of inferior construction, the funerary temples adjoining the pyramids were elaborate structures extensively decorated with painted bas-reliefs.


Near the pyramid complex most of the kings of this dynasty built great temples of the Sun-god, each dominated by a towering solar obelisk.


In addition to the **** and endowments of many temples listed in the Palermo Stone, the Pharaohs of the Fifth Dynasty were active in safeguarding the frontiers of Egypt and in expanding the existing trade relations with neighbouring countries. Punitive expeditions against the Libyans of the western desert, the Bedouins of Sinai and the Semitic

peoples of southern Palestine were recorded on the walls of their funerary temples. Great seagoing ships visited the coast of Palestine during the reigns of Sahure and Issessi. Egyptian ships also reached the shores of the land of Punt on the Somali coast to procure highly valued cargoes of myrrh, ebony and animals, among other goods. The traffic with Syria in cedar wood continued to thrive, and the ancient port of Byblos on the coast below the wooded slopes of Lebanon saw more and more of the Egyptian timber fleet.
Source of image Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Text Reference:


The UNESCO General History of Africa:


Volume II, Ancient Civilization of Africa, General History of Africa, G. Mokhtar, 1990, p 64-68
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Kothar Bishop
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« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2007, 03:11:14 pm »

Userkaf


2498 - 2491 BC

5th Dynasty


Westcar Papyrus and the start of the 5th Dynasty.

The Westcar papyrus states how the 4th dynasty passed into the 5th (a certain Djedi, a wise man who may have been a 'magician' or priest, was a member of the court of Khufu. Djedi would entertain the king with stories - one of these stories turns into prophecy,


This prophetic story relates how a wife of the High priest of Re at Heliopolis would give birth to three sons ("born one cubit long.... the covering of whose limbs were of gold and whose headress was of real lapis lazuli"), each son would become king.

(The Westcar papyrus itself was written in the Hyksos period, but the story of Djedi at the court of Khufu probably originated in the 12th dynasty - read the full account of this prophecy).



Userkaf himself, was the grandson of Djedefre (son of Khufu) - his mother, Queen Neferhetep, was Khufu's daughter. Userkaf further strengthened his claim to the throne by marrying Khentkawes, daughter of Menkaure.

Apart from details given in the Westcar Papyrus, nothing is known concerning the reign of Userkaf. However, Userkaf's reign did leave two monuments:


The Pyramid of Userkaf


('Userkaf is purest of sites')

Original Height - 49 m

Length of Side - 73.5m




The Pyramid has suffered greatly over the years, now barely recognisable as a pyramid instead looking more like a giant mound of rubble (the site had been used a convienant quarry for builders of other local projects). The pyramid was first identified as being that of Userkaf's by Cecil M. Firth in 1928, it is located at Saqqara along the north-east wall of the pyramid enclosure of Djoser. Although it's battered state does not give a good impression of its former grandeur, enough information is left to although archaeologists to reconstruct the groundplan of the site:



A - Pyramid of Userkaf F - Vestibule
B - Entrance G - Saite tomb
C - funerary chapel H - Satellite pyramid
D - Funerary Temple I - Secondary pyramid
E - Courtyard J - Processional Ramp


The pyramid was originally encased in fine Tura limestone, the burial chamber also lined and paved with fine limestone (the sarcophagus was made of basalt - this was empty when discovered).

The satellite pyramid (the tomb of Queen Neferhetepe) was similarly ruined - the remains now contain only a few blocks of limestone which had been the ceiling of the burial chamber.



The funerary temple, originally surrounded with granite pillars, was decorated with bas-reliefs and also held a colossal statue of Userkaf (see picture above)
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