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The walls of the great temple in Karnak depicted the story of an expedition of impressive ships to the mysterious land known as Punt. The fleet of Queen Hatshepsut traveled there for unknown reasons. Traditional interpretations summarized that Hatshepsut wanted to acquire some loot in Punt, but there may be another reason. Hatshepsut was a famous ruler of the 18th dynasty in Egypt. She lived during one of the most magnificent periods in the history of Egypt, when the country was powerful and the treasury of the royal palaces were full of gold.
It is unknown when Hatshepsut started her preparations for the journey to Punt, but it believed to have been a very expensive trip. The female pharaoh ordered a few ships to be built in the shipyard near the Nile and transported by land to the harbor on the Red Sea.
Some researchers believe that Hatshepsut wanted to attack Punt, but this statement brings about other questions. For one, it is unknown where Punt was really located, but it is possible that it was the territory of modern Ethiopia. There are several pieces of evidence suggesting that Punt was located not far from Egypt. For example, an official of the Sixth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom claimed that he visited Punt and Byblos eleven times. This means that Punt was probably located near Byblos.
Apart from this, there is information from the Fifth Dynasty that pharaoh Sahure brought back 80, measures of myrrh from Punt. There are also many recordings of trade between Egyptians and Puntians during the Middle Kingdom Period. Red Sea and major travel routes by land and sea.
Public Domain. It seems that shopping travels to Punt were very normal for the pharaohs of Egypt. Why would Hatshepsut want to attack and loot an area which traditionally was a place where Egyptians bought precious items?
All of the lands were close to Egypt, so it shouldn't be any different in the case of Punt. On the inscriptions discovered in Deir el-Bahri the name of Punt was written as a part of Egypt, not a foreign land. Punt was well known as a paradise for anyone who loved luxurious goods. The reliefs from Karnak show the goods which Hatshepsut brought back to Egypt. There were animals, food, precious stones, and other treasures.
It is also believed that Punt had an oracle who was respected by the female pharaoh. Heaven and all foreign lands created by the god are completely subservient to her They come to her with fearful heart, their chiefs bowing their heads, with tributes on their backs. Some still believe that Hatshepsut went to Punt to conquer it once more, or to steal the goods and plunder the capital.
However, it seems more reasonable to conclude that her visit was of a more peaceful nature. This relief depicts incense and myrrh trees obtained by Hatshepsut's expedition to Punt. Later in the same inscription we discover the reasons to her visit to Punt. It suggests that ideas of war or invasion are very overrated. The pharaoh says:. It was learned of by hearsay, from the stories of the ancestors.
Exotic goods were brought, and these were brought from there to your fathers, the kings of Lower Egypt, from one to the other since the era of the ancestors, to the kings who were before, in return for many payments. No one will reach them your explorers, for I will let your expedition enter it after I will have guided them by water and by land, disclosing to them the unexplored roads after I will have entered the Myrrh-terraces. Later the inscription speaks about the goods Egyptians took on the ship.
There is also a feeling that the Egyptians didn't know the people of Punt very well. Does it sound like an invasion? Not at all. It is unknown, however, if she received the items she needed by domination or, like many of her ancestors, she saw Punt as similar to a modern shopping center. Egyptian expedition to Punt during the reign of Hatshepsut. The inscription explains that the Puntians were happy to see the Egyptians and they offered them lots of precious goods.
Nothing suggests that Hatshepsut hurt the kingdom of Punt. The ships, which were often described as warships, have no sure signs of being prepared for anything other than transport. It seems that many old analyses followed an untrue assumption. It is almost impossible that Hatshepsut went to Punt to conquer it, but it is almost certain that she traveled there to fill her vanity with the treasures of the mysterious kingdom. A tree in front of Hatshepsut's temple, claimed to have been brought from Punt by Hatshepsut's Expedition which is depicted on the Temple walls.
CC BY 2. Natalia Klimczak is an historian, journalist and writer. She worked for Ancient Orgins from December until April Others have put forward that idea. That area was also called the Holy Land in ancient times, long before the Christian era. The portion of the Bible that deals with Jerusalem and it's acquisition by Israel also indicates it was considered a holy place at that time.
Josephus referred to the Queen of Sbeba as queen of Egypt and Ethiopia, so some have also argued that Sheba and Hatsheput were the same person. Ancient Origins has been quoted by:. By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings.
Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. Skip to main content. The Road to Punt The female pharaoh ordered a few ships to be built in the shipyard near the Nile and transported by land to the harbor on the Red Sea. Login or Register in order to comment. Chico Chang wrote on 25 August, - Permalink.
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The Expedition to Punt
Sponsor Support. Queen Hatshepsut's temple. In her time Hatshepsut was a model of feminine mystic, power and political acumen. After examining the contribution she made to the new Kingdom, historians generally agree this person was one of the greatest contributors to Egypt's ancient legacy in world history. This expedition is an indicator of her leadership and skill in motivating and governing the Egyptian society of her time to high ach i evement.
Land of Punt
A daughter of Thothmes I. By others, and most emphatically by Dr. Brugsch, she is stigmatized as a usurper. As a matter of fact, however, Hatasu was actually Queen, and Queen-regnant, during the lifetime of her father. Her accession, therefore, dates from a time long preceding that of her brother, Thothmes II. An important historical inscription sculptured on one of the pylons of the Great Temple of Karnak records this event in eighteen columns of hieroglyphic text, which were copied and translated by the late Vicomte E.
Out for War or A Shopping Trip? Why Hatshepsut Traveled to the Kingdom of Punt
In the 15th century B. In this interactive, use a detailed line drawing of the bas-relief to follow the Punt expedition from start to finish. Follow an Egyptian pharaoh's voyage to the fabled Land of Punt, as chronicled in an ancient wall carving. Despite heaps of evidence and decades of debate, scholars are not certain where or even what ancient Punt was. Click on parts of the pharaoh Hatshepsut's reconstructed vessel and see how they compare to archeological finds.