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Recreating 3,500-year-old Egyptian Perfume

The Ancient Egyptians cherished their fragrant scents, too, as perfume flacons from this period indicate. In its permanent exhibition, Bonn University’s Egyptian Museum has a particularly well preserved example on display. Screening this 3,500-year-old flacon with a computer tomograph, scientists at the university detected the desiccated residues of a fluid, which they now want to submit to further analysis. They might even succeed in reconstructing this scent.

Hatshepsut’s perfume is also presumably a demonstration of her power. “We think it probable that one constituent was frankincense – the scent of the gods,” Michael Höveler-Müller declares. This idea is not so wide of the mark, as it is a known fact that in the course of her regency Haptshepsut undertook an expedition to Punt – the modern Eritrea, and the Egyptians had been importing precious goods such as ebony, ivory, gold, and just this frankincense, from there since the third millennium B.C. Apparently the expedition brought back whole frankincense plants, which Hatshepsut then had planted in the vicinity of her funerary temple.

Read the original article at: Science Daily

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