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Land Of Punt

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AksumVanguard View Drop Down

Joined: 01 Feb 2009
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    Posted: 11 Feb 2014 at 18:00


The majority opinion places Punt in Eastern Africa, based on the fact that the products of Punt (as depicted in the Hatshepsut illustrations) were abundantly found in East Africa but were less common or sometimes absent in Arabia. These products included gold and aromatic resins such as myrrhebony and elephant tusks. The wild animals depicted in Punt include giraffesbaboonshippopotamuses, and leopards. Says Richard Pankhurst : “[Punt] has been identified with territory on both the Arabian and African coasts. Consideration of the articles which the Egyptians obtained from Punt, notably gold and ivory, suggests, however, that these were primarily of African origin. ... This leads us to suppose that the term Punt probably applied more to African than Arabian territory.”[2][12][23][24]

Some scholars disagree with this view and point to a range of ancient inscriptions which locate Punt in Arabia. Dimitri Meeks has written that “Texts locating Punt beyond doubt to the south are in the minority, but they are the only ones cited in the current consensus about the location of the country. Punt, we are told by the Egyptians, is situated – in relation to the Nile Valley – both to the north, in contact with the countries of the Near East of the Mediterranean area, and also to the east or south-east, while its furthest borders are far away to the south. Only the Arabian Peninsula satisfies all these indications.”[6]

In 2010, a genetic study was conducted on the mummified remains of baboons that were brought back from Punt by the ancient Egyptians. Led by a research team from the Egyptian Museum and the University of California, the scientists used oxygen isotope analysis to examine hairs from two baboon mummies that had been preserved in the British Museum. One of the baboons had distorted isotopic data, so the other's oxygen isotope values were compared to those of modern-day baboon specimens from regions of interest. The researchers found that the mummies most closely matched modern specimens seen in Eritrea and Ethiopia as opposed to those in neighboring Somalia, with the Ethiopian specimens "basically due west from Eritrea". The team did not have the opportunity to compare the mummies with baboons in Yemen. The scientists believed that such an analysis would yield similar results since, according to them, regional isotopic maps suggest that baboons in Yemen would closely resemble those in Somalia. Professor Dominy, one of the lead researchers, concluded from this that "we think Punt is a sort of circumscribed region that includes eastern Ethiopia and all of Eritrea."[25]


There are several ancient Egyptian texts that record trade voyages to the Land of Punt, dating up until the end of the New Kingdom, 3,000 years ago. But until now scholars did not know where Punt was. Ancient texts offer only vague allusions to its location and no 'Puntite' civilization has been discovered. Somalia, Ethiopia, Yemen and even Mozambique have all been offered as possible locations.

However, it appears that the search for Punt may have come to an end according to new research which claims to prove that it was located in Eritrea/East Ethiopia. Live baboons were among the goods that we know the Egyptians got from Punt. The research team included Professor Salima Ikram from the Egyptian Museum, Cairo, and Professor Nathaniel Dominy and graduate student Gillian Leigh Moritz, both from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

The team studied two baboon mummies in the British Museum. By analysing hairs from these baboons using oxygen isotope analysis, they were able to work out where they originated. Oxygen isotopes act as a 'signal' that can let scientists know where they came from. Depending on the environment an animal lived in, the ratio of different isotopes of oxygen will be different. “Oxygen tends to vary as a function of rainfall and the water composition of plants and seed,” said Professor Nathaniel Dominy of UC Santa Cruz.

Only one of the two baboons was suitable for the research – the other had spent time in Thebes as an exotic pet, and so its isotopic data had been distorted. Working on the baboon discovered in the Valley of the Kings, the researchers compared the oxygen isotope values in the ancient baboons to those found in their modern day brethren. Although isotope values in baboons in Somalia, Yemen and Mozambique did not match, those in Eritrea and Eastern Ethiopia were closely matched.

The Romanticized Land of Punt has been determined by scientist and scholars.

The consensus concludes it is located in Eastern Ethiopia and Modern Eritrea. 

I will post more on this later.

Edited by AksumVanguard - 11 Feb 2014 at 18:02
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toyomotor View Drop Down

Joined: 15 Feb 2014
Location: Tasmania, AUST.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Feb 2014 at 13:22
Puntland is actually shown on modern maps.

It's right on the Horn of Africa, north of Somalia and south east of Ethiopia.
“The biggest surprise in a man’s life is old age.”
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