2014/10/10

Scenes of Punt Expedition from Deir el-Bahari

These scenes show some details of the expedition that Queen Hatshepsut sent along the Red Sea to Punt, now known as Somalia and depicts the travel route of Queen Hatshepsut's expedition to Punt with scenes and texts.

The Punt expedition allowed the Egyptian travelers to exchange their merchandise for the products of Punt, such as incense, myrrh, ivory, ebony, malachite, gold, and electrum. 

Scenes of Punt Expedition from Deir el-Bahari

Scenes of Punt Expedition from Deir el-Bahari


This relief shows some people of Punt carrying sticks. On the other fragment, is depicted the donkey that bore Ati, the wife of the chief of Punt, who was represented in an ironic way on another fragment of the same wall.

The scene is accompanied by text that reveals the delicate sense of humor of the ancient Egyptians. It says, "The poor donkey, which bears his wife." That was because of her large body and her heavy weight.



Exchanging Gifts in the Land of Punt


This block shows a man holding a stick to guide a donkey that carries some gifts to be exchanged between the Egyptians and the people of Punt.

The Egyptian gifts were objects like daggers, designed to induce the Ruler to exchange them for gold, ivory, leopard skins, animals, and frankincense trees.

Exchanging Gifts in the Land of Punt

Importing these trees was the real object of the expedition. The object was to plant them at the sides of the facade of the temple at Deir el-Bahari.

Incense was very important in Egyptian cult life. It confirmed the relation between the gods and believers. It was also burned to ward off evil spirits.



Exchanging Gifts in the Land of Punt


The block shows Parehu, the Ruler of Punt, holding a rod. In front of him the Egyptians, guided by Pa-Nehsi, present jewelry and an exquisite golden dagger. Standing just behind Parehu is his wife, Ati, who is shown as a fat, deformed person.

It is likely that the Egyptian artist showed her like this because she suffered from the disease known as elephantiasis, which is characterized by the enlargement of a part of the body. It is also likely that the artist exaggerated a little to make a sort of caricature, or comic imitation.

The artist recorded all the details of African life. He even depicted small details such as the African collars worn by the Ruler of Punt and his wife and the strokes drawn on their faces.








Architrave fragment of Kay-nefer

This architrave fragment comes from the mastaba of Kay-nefer in the western cemetery of Giza. In addition to the cult chamber in the centre of the mastaba, other cult chambers were added outside the eastern wall. 


Architrave fragment of Kay-nefer

This piece may well have been placed above the entrance to such a chamber. On the left, the owner of the tomb Kay-nefer is shown, wearing a broad kilt and a striated wig. In his left hand he is holding a long staff. 

Of the three horizontal lines of inscription, only the ends are preserved, but it was probably a prayer to Anubis for a good burial in the necropolis.

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