Land of Punt

The Mythical Land of Punt – Will ‘God’s Land’ Ever Be Found?

(Read the article on one page)

Ancient Egyptian records dating back thousands of years have spoken of the Land of Punt, a land of abundance which is believed to have prospered between 2450 BC and 1155 BC and where the Egyptians were able to obtain gold, aromatic resins, African blackwood, ebony, ivory, wild animals and even slaves. In the temple of Athribis, build under Ptolemaios XII, a relief apparently shows the various trees growing in Punt.  Punt, so it seems, was a lush, tropical land, very different to the Egyptian desert.  However, despite extensive depictions and accounts of this land of paradise, numerous searches and studies have failed to locate it leading some to even doubt its existence.

In the 12th Dynasty, Punt was immortalized in Egyptian literature in the very popular `Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor’ in which an Egyptian sailor converses with a great serpent who calls himself the `Lord of Punt’ and sends the sailor back to Egypt laden with gold, spices and precious animals:

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…[]…his body was as overlaid with gold, and his colour as that of true lazuli….[]… it was the prince of the land of Punt…

Around 1477 BC, Queen Hatshepsut funded a mysterious overseas expedition to the Land of Punt, which is depicted in a relief at Deir el-Bahri (in modern day Luxor). It shows five ships, each measuring about 70 feet long, carrying 210 men and loaded with gold, trees and exotic animals, like leopards, apes and giraffes – all species found on the African continent. In the sea the relief show various species of fish: zoologist identified some of them living along the coast of Africa, but also along the Arabian Peninsula.

For over a century, archaeologists questioned the ability of Egypt to conduct such an oceanic voyage, with many believing that the Land of Punt was inland. However, evidence emerged in 2011 indicating that the ancient Egyptians weren’t just masters of the land…they were masters of the seas.

The evidence relates to a series of remarkable discoveries on a stretch of the Red Sea coast which proved that the Egyptian’s applied their masterful building skills to ships as well as pyramids. 

Archaeologists excavating a dried-up lagoon, known as Mersa Gawasis, unearthed traces of an ancient harbour that once launched early voyages like Hatshepsut’s onto the open ocean.  Inside a series of man-made caves they found timber, rigging, limestone anchors, steering oars, reed mats, cedar planks, and the remains of the oldest seagoing ships ever discovered, which offers hard proof of the Egyptians’ nautical roots and important clues to the location of Punt. “These new finds remove all doubt that you reach Punt by sea,” said Egyptologist John Baines. “The Egyptians must have had considerable seagoing experience.”

The evidence suggests that that the Egyptians travelled to Punt by boat down the Nile, through the Wadi Tumilat in the eastern Delta and on to the Red Sea. There is evidence that the Egyptian crews would disassemble their boats, carry them overland, use them in the sea for trade, then carry them back overland to the Nile.

But geology gives us another clue to find the lost land of Punt. Along the gifts brought back from Punt were also living exotic animals, like baboons, as seen on the relief of Deir el-Bahari.  In 2010, researchers analysed hair samples from 3,000 years old mummified baboons (the pet animals of important persons, like the family of the Pharaoh) found in the tombs of the Valley of the Kings. By comparing the results of the ancient hair samples with hair samples of modern animals living in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Yemen, Uganda and Mozambique the researchers concluded that most similarity can be found with animals coming from eastern Ethiopia and Eritrea.

So could it be that the mystery has finally been solved?  Well not quite yet. Much work is still to be done to find a precise location with supporting evidence.  But one thing seems certain; the Land of Punt, which receded into legend and folklore after the 18 th Dynasty, is not a mythical place, but a real location that is still waiting to be uncovered.

By April Holloway

Comments

Malisa Wright , it has never been said to be a new thing. It has been said to be accelerated by human environment manipulation.

This was a post from over a year ago, but my attention is attracted by the words "will God's Land ever be found". We seek outside of our selves for paradise for a land. Most of the time, we find that land just by withdrawing form the chaos and insanity of the world Ahriman creates. Emerson was able to see the "authentic fire" as he sat in his garden in silence all day, Edward Fitzgerald in his books and flowers.....really a world of magic does open as Nature allows us peaks into the real world. The dragon flies dance around us, a leaf twirls around and around defying the laws of gravity, a flower and a tree talk to us and we see the world of nature alive and full of magic....then we know we are not alone anymore. Humans make me feel alone, the chaos they create to me has become so alien....so insane....I am amazed at the stupidity of it all. At the margins of fb Ophra, Degenrate, Katie Coric "crying" over lying.... the news, the chaos to create fear....what insanity. Just distractions to keep us from spending the time quieting our minds and remembering who we are. Will it matter in a year from now if Ophra lied?
God's land is not hidden out there somewhere....as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz understood when she returned to Kansas....what she was looking for was in her own back yard all the time. We live in a magical world, it is all around us in Nature, but most pass through it without noticing. They are too busy chasing after the promotion, that new car or house that the TV tells them they have to have, that new piece of jewelry that will give them the satisfaction they seek.....but it never does....does it?

Basics,it is the key.

Climate change is obviously not a new phenomenon!

malisa wright

The quote sounds like a description of someone leaving their body in an OBE and visiting another realm. The sound of thunder (often you will hear a loud, buzzing, thunder sound when you separate from your body). To see a serpent and a paradise of another realm. It was common place for people of the time to explore these realms - psychoactive plants were used and not thought of as taboo like modern times. They could contact their "gods" in these realms. Most people are so closed to these realms now and believe they don't exist.

Pages

Register to become part of our active community, get updates, receive a monthly newsletter, and enjoy the benefits and rewards of our member point system OR just post your comment below as a Guest.

Top New Stories

Some of the Mitla mosaics.
Unique and curious designs plaster the walls of the most popular Zapotec archaeological site in Mexico. They are called the Mitla mosaics and are unrivalled in their precision and quality of workmanship. But a mystery surrounds the carved symbols as some researchers suggest they contain a coded language just waiting to be deciphered.

Myths & Legends

Open Book Photo
A legend is a tale regarded as historical even though it has not been proven, and the term “myth” can refer to common yet false ideas. Many myths and legends describe our history, but they are often treated skeptically. This is because many of them, while explaining a phenomenon, involve divine or supernatural beings.

Human Origins

Noah's Sacrifice - watercolor circa 1896–1902 by James Tissot
The imperfect state of archaeological researches in the Near East impedes any definite identification of the original race or races that created the earliest civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt. According to Gordon Childe, however, the predominant racial element in the earliest graves in the region from Elam to the Danube is the ‘Mediterranean’.

Ancient Technology

Invention of Wheel - Sumer
In today’s world, technology is developing at an unprecedented rate. The latest gadget today is tomorrow’s antique. As a result of this rapid development of technology, we often take things for...

Ancient Places

Google Earth image of manmade stone structures in Saudi Arabia
Deep in the heart of Saudi Arabia, 400 peculiar stone structures have been found, dating back thousands of years ago. These stone features were discovered by archaeologists with the use of satellite imagery, identifying what they call stone "gates" in an extremely unwelcome and harsh area of the Arabian Peninsula.

Opinion

The ancient and mysterious Sphinx, Giza, Egypt.
In 1995, NBC televised a prime-time documentary hosted by actor Charlton Heston and directed by Bill Cote, called Mystery of the Sphinx. The program centered on the research and writings of John Anthony West, a (non-academic) Egyptologist, who, along with Dr. Robert Schoch, a professor of Geology at Boston University, made an astounding discovery on the Great Sphinx of Giza in Egypt.

Our Mission

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

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. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Next article