Hatshepsut’s Myrrh Tree

This is our entry in Dutch goes the Photo!’s Tuesday Photo Challenge – Old.

This sign stands in front of the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut in Upper Egypt, on the Nile near the Valley of the Kings.  The sign states:

This tree was brought from Punt by Hatshepsut’s expedition which is depicted on the temple walls

Hatshepsut, who ruled Egypt for almost 22 years around 1500 BC, was one of its most successful pharaohs. She was the daughter of Thutmose I, chief wife of Thutmose II (her half brother),  and (officially) co-regent with Thutmose III (her husband’s son with a secondary wife).  (Of course, the true history is much more complicated than this summary.)

The tree in the photo was brought back from the Land of Punt, part of the trade goods acquired during a trading expedition overseen by Hatshepsut.  This myrrh tree, one of 31, was transplanted in front of her mortuary temple.  (There really is the stump of a 3500-year-old tree in this enclosure.)  Frankincense was another trade good from this expedition, which was charred and ground for use as kohl eyeliner, a widely-used eye cosmetic.

This photo was taken on March 2, 2013. Specs are:

Olympus TG-1, ISO 100, f/8, 1/800 sec, 4.5 mm.