Hatshepsut's Expedition to Punt

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Describe the expedition to Punt in the reign of Hatshepsut. (10 marks)

The expedition into punt during the reign of Hatshepsut took place prior to or during the ninth year of her reign and involved a lengthy voyage along the Nile somewhere in the vicinity of present-day Somalia. We know of this because of the many pictorial primary sources carved into the walls at her temple at Deir el Bahari which indicates Punts inner African location. The expedition was most likely aimed to open up trade between the two nations and establish a bond that would benefit both Egypt and inner Africa. The panels of pictorials show the journey to Punt and convey the land rich with nature and abundant in animal life. The next panel shows five Egyptian ships arriving in Punt, two of which various gifts and presents are being unloaded and will be presented as tribute to the various Chiefs of Punt. Nehasi escorted by an officer and eight Egyptian soldiers presents these offerings to the Chief and his wife on Hatshepsut’s behalf. This offering must have been well received because the next panel shows both Puntites and Egyptians loading the ships with incense and ebony. When the boats are loaded at Punt bags of incense, gold ebony, elephant tusks, panther skins, monkeys and frankincense are already present on the boat also many other exotic gifts were loaded and were to be presented to Hatshepsut. The arrival back at Thebes was both joyous and peaceful, and in the presence of the Queen a long line of Puntites carrying ebony and boomerangs, and drive cattle, while the Egyptians carried frankincense and other goods to presented to the Queen. According to Naville, “...the bowing down before (Hatshepsut) by the chiefs of Punt...bringing their goods in the place where is her majesty....” This source supports other evidence which shows that this is how the event took place. Hatshepsut then takes some of the best produce and goods, received from the Puntites and dedicates them...
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