Africa: The Ancient lost Kingdom of Punt may have been finally found in Somalia


Queen Hatshepsut’s temple inscriptions at Luxor reveal that her divine mother, Hathor, was from Punt – with strong indications that the pharaohs considered the origin of their culture to be Punt Land. The ancient city of Opone in Somalia is identical to the city of Pouen referenced as part of Punt by ancient inscriptions.

According to, Tourists from all over the world are welcomed in Upper Egypt to admire temples and learn about the fascinating history of ancient pharaohs. However, the pharaohs’ true origins are not told and our literature is lacking adequate information.

The Land of the Gods
Punt Land is described in ancient Egyptian texts as the “Land of the Gods” and a region rich in resources. After Jean-Francois Champollion deciphered the pharaoh’s hieroglyphics in 1822 AD, western scholars began reading the texts. Debates started as to the origins of the pharaohs and the location of Punt Land.
Egypt grew as a nation with trade that increased in the latter part of the Pre-Dynastic Period (c. 6000-3150 BC). By the Early Dynastic Period (c. 3150-2613 BC) trade was firmly established with regions in Mesopotamia and Phoenicia. The Fifth Dynasty (c. 2498-2345 BC) witnessed Egypt’s flourishing through trade with Punt Land.

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Fourth Dynasty reliefs show a Puntite with one of Khufu’s sons, and Fifth Dynasty documents demonstrate trade between the two countries. A tomb inscription of the military commander Pepynakht Heqalb, who served under King Pepy II (2278-2184 BC) of the Sixth Dynasty, narrates how Heqalb was sent to “the land of the Aamu” to retrieve the body of the warden of Kekhen.

Punt Land became a semi-mythical land for the pharaohs, but it was a real place through the New Kingdom (1570-1069 BC). During the reign of Amunhotep II (1425-1400 BC) delegations from Punt were accepted. The reign of Ramesses II (1279-1213 BC) and of Ramesses III (1186-1155 BC) mentioned Punt as well. The pharaohs were fascinated by Punt as a “land of plenty” and it was best known as Ta Netjer – “God’s Land.”

Somalia – Continuing Puntite Traditions
In Hatshepsut’s temple, an expedition shows Punt Land located in present day Somalia. The ancient Somali name for their region was “Bunn”, a name referenced in texts related to trade with the pharaohs as “Pwenet” or “Pwene”, and the region is known as “Bunni” today. The culture of Punt Land bears several resemblances to that of the ancient Egyptians, such as language, ceremonial dress, and the arts.

Punt Land’s Location Found
Based on the evidence of the ancient pharaoh’s inscriptions, Punt/Punt Land is certainly the State of Somalia at the Horn of Africa. The ancient city of Opone in Somalia is identical to the city of Pouen referenced as part of Punt by ancient inscriptions.
As previously mentioned, Hatshepsut’s inscriptions also claim that her divine mother was from Punt – and there is evidence that Bes (the goddess of childbirth) came from Punt Land as well. Other inscriptions indicate that the 18th Dynasty pharaohs considered Punt as the origin of their culture.

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Hatshepsut’s Punt Expedition
The Land of Punt was long associated with the gods in ancient Egyptian history because materials from Punt were also used in their temple rituals. Priests wore leopard skins, gold became statuary, and incense was burned in the temples.

Hatshepsut’s reign was among the most prosperous in Egyptian history. She considered her expedition to Punt Land among her greatest successes. The importance of Punt to the queen is evident at her temple; where scenes from Hatshepsut’s life decorate the walls of the colonnades; her birth, the transportation of obelisks for the Temple of Amun in Thebes, and the great expedition to Punt are all depicted.

Trading with the Land of Punt
Inscriptions indicate relations between the two countries were very close and show the Puntites as an extremely generous people. The Land of Punt was routinely praised for its riches and the “goodness of the land” by many of the pharaohs’ scribes.

The expedition presented a fair exchange by both parties and the treasures offered by the Puntites were gold (even though the Egyptians had their own gold mines), wild animals, live apes, elephants, leopard skins, ivory, spices, precious woods, cosmetics, incense, aromatic gum, and frankincense and 31 incense trees ( Boswellia). This was the first time a plant species was successfully transplanted to another country. The transplant was so successful that the trees flourished in Egypt for centuries.

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