Hatshepsut’s Expedition to Punt

2 February 2017

Hatshepsut 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.

Hatshepsut’s Expedition to Punt Essay Example

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 to the god Amon while frankincense trees were planted in the garden of Amon. Much of the rest of produce was measured and gathered together.

This is shown in a pictorial where the god Thoth and four workers are recording the many exotic goods from the land of Punt. This expedition into Punt was both successful and achieved great benefits for both nations. We know how this expedition took place because of sources like Bentley, Redford and Naville as well as the many pictorials that paint a detailed picture of the great expedition. Assess the importance of the Punt expedition to the reign of Hatshepsut. (15Marks)The punt expedition was highly important because it was the first time in 500 years that a voyage to Punt had been undertaken and this major expedition would have required detailed planning and direction which shows the obedience and confidence of Hatshepsut’s officials and conveys their support in her planning and organisational skills and how they were willing to embark on such a momentous voyage. She appears to have regarded the Punt trading expedition as an extremely important part of her reign and wanted to be remembered for it because it contributed to Egypt’s prosperity and showed her devotion to her father Amun. It would seem that Hatshepsut regarded these as the most important events of her reign”, Bentley.

The expedition provided many benefits to the people of Egypt and the Puntites because of the trading of various goods between the two. Hatshepsut who was blessed with all these gifts of tribute was able to pay tribute to the Amun priesthood and many of her high officials for their continued support and contribution to her glorious reign. The land of Punt was seen as “God’s Land” so the expedition into the area brought about a certain amount of religious respect to Hatshepsut for organising the journey to the land of the Gods.It also showed how powerful and commanding Hatshepsut has become and how intelligent she was because she was able to use the military in a diplomatic role. She presented the expedition in such a way as to reinforce how important it was by having Egyptian artists construct a magnificent and detailed set of pictorials which tell the story of the journey and why it was so important. This pictorial was situated in the reliefs of Middle Colonnade next to the Divine Birth scene at her temple at Deir el Bahari and involved the Egyptian Gods Hathor, Thoth and Amon.This positioning and inclusion of these Gods only further outlines its importance to Hatshepsut and shows how she wish to show her accomplishments with all.

The various exotic goods which Egypt, because of its landscape and lack of natural resources, was unable to produce were present in the land of Punt. So through this trade agreement Egypt was able to gain various exotic products like myrrh, frankincense, fragrant ointments, many valuable woods, much sweet-smelling resin, quantities of ebony and ivory, also fish and other fauna and flora were collected during the expedition.All these good were collected and were used for various building programs and various religious purposes and cosmetics. The subsequent lack of wood produced by Egypt was unfortunate because of the amount of timber needed for the construction of many of their buildings and the importance of boats travelling up and down the Nile River only drove this need for wood even more. The land of Punt provided a solution because of its abundance in this specific resource which is another reason why this expedition was so crucial to the people of Egypt.The many resources this expedition provided was able to boost Egypt’s already booming economy into a place of subsequent prosperity. This may provide some insight into why Hatshepsut commanded such a voyage and shows her ability to understand her great economy.

“Hatshepsut was not blind to the need of bolstering Egypt’s economy,” Redford. The Punt expedition provided the opportunity to improve Egypt’s relations with neighbouring factions as well as boosting its only economy.

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