"You may punt," he said.
There was probably no direct intercourse with Egypt by way of the Nile, owing to the lake-like marshes between Bor and Fashoda, but instead an overland traffic with Ethiopia (the Land of Punt) via Mt Elgon and the Rudolf regions.
It was cut on the rocks by an Egyptian nobleman named Hannu, who states that he was sent by Pharaoh Sankhkere, Menthotp IV., with a force gathered out of the Thebaid, from Coptos to the Red Sea, there to take command of a naval expedition to the Holy Land of Punt (Puoni), "to bring back odoriferous gums."
Punt is identified with the Somali country, now known to be the native country of the trees that yield the bulk of the frankincense of commerce.
The East or Arabia), or "Lord of Puoni" (Punt), i.e.
They have been identified with the people of Punt, who were known to the Egyptians of the early dynasties.
The examples from Punt), and the reason given for its use (Ex.
The other bears the record of a second expedition to the same land of Punt, undertaken by command of Queen Hatshepsut, 1600 B.C. It is preserved in the vividly chiselled and richly coloured decorations portraying the history of the reign of this famous Pharaoh on the walls of the "Stage Temple" at Thebes.
The temple is now in ruins, but the entire series of gorgeous pictures recording the expedition to "the balsam land of Punt," from its leaving to its returning to Thebes, still remains intact and undefaced.4 These are the only authenticated instances of the export of incense trees from the Somali country until Colonel Playfair, then political agent at Aden, in 1862-1864, collected and sent to Bombay the specimens from which Sir George Birdwood prepared his descriptions of them for the Linnean Society in 1868.
Conquering Pharaohs brought home trains of prisoners and spoil, embassies came thither of strange people in every variety of costume and of every hue of skin, from Ethiopia, Puoni (Punt), Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, Libya, and the islands of the Mediterranean, bringing precious stones, rare animals, beautiful slaves, costly garments and vessels of gold and silver, while the ground shook with the movement of colossal architraves, statues and obelisks.
Eastward, roads led through the Arabian mountains to the Red Sea, whence ships made voyages to the incense-bearing land of Puoni (Punt) on the Somali coast of Africa, rich also in gold and ivory.
Among the "harbours of incense" exploited by various Pharaohs during some twentyfive centuries it is impossible to believe that the island could be missed by the Egyptian galleys on their way to the "Land of Punt," identified by several writers with Somaliland; nor that, though the roadsteads of the African coast were perhaps oftener frequented, and for other freights besides myrrh and frankincense, the shores of Sokotra were neglected by such ardent explorers as those, for instance, of Queen Hatshepsut of the r8th dynasty.