Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Punt Was In Africa

One of the trade partners of ancient Egypt was the ancient kingdom of Punt. The location of that kingdom is not entirely clear from the written historical record. To help resolve that question, scientists at Dartmouth College compared oxygen and strontium levels in samples of baboon tissue imported from Punt found in ancient Egyptian baboon mummies since those levels are distinctive based upon the geographic area where the baboon consumed water. 

Bottom line: the Kingdom of Punt was someplace in modern Eritrea, Ethiopia or Somalia, rather than on the Arabian Peninsula as some scholars have suggested. 

The paper that is the source of this report is:

Nathaniel J Dominy, et al., "Mummified baboons reveal the far reach of early Egyptian mariners." 9 eLife (2020). DOI: 10.7554/eLife.60860

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