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Queen Hatshepsut ruled Egypt from (1503 to 1480 BC); carvings at the temple of Deir el Bahariin Western Thebes
Taken from : many websites
We do not know of any visits of the Egyptians to East Africa. But surely they traded with the northern part of the Horn of Africa. Making that trade articles from that period show up every now
and then in excavations in East Africa proper. Because of that a short overview is given of the trade of ancient Egypt with the land of Punt.
-In the Fourth Dynasty a Puntite negro appears as the slave of one of the sons of King Khufu
-Pharaoh Sahure of the Fifth dynasty (2458-2446 BC), 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.The minister Heni left an account of his expedition to built a ship during the 11th dynasty: My lord sent me to dispatch a ship to Punt to bring for him fresh myrrh. I went forth with any army of 3,000 men. I made the road a river, and the desert a stretch of field, for I gave a leather bottle, a carrying pole, 2 jars of water and 20 loaves to each one among them every day. I made 12 wells in the bush and others on the way. Then I reached the Red Sea; then I made this ship, and I dispatched it with everything, when I had made for it a great sacrifice of cattle, bulls and antelopes.
I did as the king had ordered and brought him all I had found on both coasts of God's Land ... Translation after P.Montet 'La vie quotidienne en Egypte'
-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
-In the Eighteenth Dynasty there was an expedition sent by Queen Hatshepsut which as it is the best known will be looked at more closely after this introduction.
-An inscription of the Nineteenth dynasty Pharaoh, Harmhab (who ruled from 1350 BC to 1315 BC) mentions the Chief of Punt bringing tribute;
-In the Twentiest dynasty the Pharaoh Ramses the third (1198 to 1167 BC) sent the last recorded expedition to Punt. As always it was recorded as being very successful.
The inscription of Ramses describes galleys and barges ; laden with, the products of Gods Land, consisting of all the strange goods of the country and mentions in particular the plentiful myrrh of Punt, laden by ten thousands of measures, without number; and refers to the children of the chiefs of Gods land who brought the tribute.
-A stela from the Twnetysixth Dynasty mentioning rain on the mountains of Punt may indicate that there were still active contacts between the two countries,
That was the last known Egyptian contact with Punt - and we have no further references to Punt at all.
The record of the most famous of the Egyptian voyages to Punt, that organized by Queen Hatshepsut who ruled Egypt 3480 years ago. This formidable woman who nearly always portrayed herself as a man, sent 5 large ships to Punt probably in the year 1495 BC and she commemorated this and other achievements of her reign in carvings at the temple of Deir el Bahariin Western Thebes. The carvings run along 3 walls. There are panels showing the presentation of the 'tribute' to the Queen, and the ships departing and returning.
First ship of five leaving towards Punt
The scenery of a village in Punt where the ships arrived.
On the other side of the scene is to be found the chief of Punt, named as Perehu, his extremely fat wife called Eti, with the donkey , and their 2 sons and a daughter as well as 3 other Punites with the donkey that Eti has been riding. Behind the figures of the Chief of Punt and his family are houses, set on poles, with ladders leading up to them. They stand in the trees, and around are lines of water. The inscription reads: Hither come the Great of Punt, their backs bent, their heads bowed, to receive the soldiers of His Majesty. How have you arrived at this land unknown to the men of Egypt? Have you come down from the roads of the Heavens? Or have you navigated the sea of Ta-nuter? You must have followed the path of the sun. As for the King of Egypt, there is no road which is inaccessible to His Majesty; we live by the breath he grants to us.
The Egyptian soldiers arrive at Punt. It is interesting to note that they are led by an unarmed man.
Under: In front of him is a pile of necklaces, axes, daggers and beads, obviously for trading.
The inscription says: all the good things of His Majesty, to whom be Life, Health, and Strength, destined for Hathor, Lady of Punt.
|Another scene shows the exchange of goods, here myrrh trees are transported. There is the tent of the King's messenger with the goods of Punt piled high, and a long line of Puntites approaching carrying more.|
There is a scene with the loading up of two of the ships with a line of men carrying the goods aboard. The inscription tell us;
. . loading of the ships very heavily with marvels of the country of Punt; all goodly fragrant woods of God's-Land, heaps of myrrh, resin, with fresh myrrh trees, with ebony and pure ivory, with green gold of Emu, with cinnamon wood, khesyt wood, with two kinds of incense, eye-cosmetic, with apes, monkeys, dogs, and with skins of the southern panther, with natives and their children. Never was brought the like of this for any king who has been since the beginning.
An inscription after the arrival of the fleet back in Egypt states:
Look, they are returning and they have bought something truly amazing! Trees heavy with fresh incense ready to plant. Ebonine, precious ivory, baboons, monkeys and dogs, countless leopard skins, even slaves and children. Nothing like this has ever happened to another king of Egypt.
We should mention a little archaeological evidence of Egyptian beads dug up by D M Dixon in the journal of Egyptian archaeology [ Vol 155 1996]
The discovery at Nakuru in Kenya of a well-preserved short faience cylinder-bead (color not stated) found near a body (which Louis Leakey considered to be that of a chief) buried in an ultra-crouched position and painted with red ochre. m e burial belonged to a period dated by the excavator to c.1000 - 850 BC. Beck, who examined this bead did not think it was Egyptian, though Leakly himself in a later paper, wrote: 'Beads found in direct association with the dates around 1000 BC that trade with the civilisations of the period ( such as the Egyptian ) exited."
Professor W B Emery tells-me that during the early-1920s he was shown a quantity of typically 18th dynasty blue faience cylinder-beads which had been found at an unspecified locality on the coast of Jubaland by a number of the Kenya Boundary Commission shortly after the end of the First World War. According to this official, the site - in question was strewn with fragments of human bone, and, to -judge by his description, it would appear to have been a badly denuded cemetery.