Store Banner Desktop

Store Banner Mobile

Land of Punt

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

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

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



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

Basics,it is the key.

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 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 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?

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.


aprilholloway's picture


April Holloway is a Co-Owner, Editor and Writer of Ancient Origins. For privacy reasons, she has previously written on Ancient Origins under the pen name April Holloway, but is now choosing to use her real name, Joanna Gillan.

Joanna... Read More

Next article