3,500 yr old perfume of Egyptian pharaoh to be re-created

March 16th, 2009 - 1:52 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, March 16 (ANI): Scientists are aiming to re-create the perfume of Egyptian Pharaoh Hatshepsut, using residues from a 3,500 year old vessel.

Pharaoh Hatshepsut was a power-conscious woman who assumed the reins of government in Egypt around the year 1479 B.C.

It is believed that Hatshepsut was so influential that even her perfume is regarded as a demonstration of her power.

We think it probable that one constituent was incense the scent of the gods, said Michael Hoveler-Muller, the curator of Bonn Universitys Egyptian Museum.

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 incense, from there since the third millennium B.C.

Apparently, the expedition brought back whole incense plants, which Hatshepsut then had planted in the vicinity of her funerary temple.

The filigree flacon now under examination by the researchers in Bonn, Germany, bears an inscription with the name of the Pharaoh. Hence, it was probably once in her possession.

The vessel is exceptionally well preserved.

So, we considered it might be rewarding to have it screened in the University Clinics Radiology Department, Hoveler-Muller explained. As far as I know this has never been done before, he added.

The desiccated residues of a fluid can be clearly discerned in the x-ray photographs. Our pharmacologists are now going to analyze this sediment, said the museums curator.

The results could be available in a years time.

If they are successful, the scientists in Bonn are even hoping to reconstruct the perfume so that, 3,500 years after the death of the woman amongst whose possessions it was found, the scent could then be revitalized.

Hatshepsut died in 1457 B.C.

Analysis of the mummy ascribed to her showed that the ruler was apparently between 45 and 60 years of age at the end of her life; that she was also overweight, and suffering from diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis and arthritis. (ANI)

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