Puntians

Puntite Punt Phunt Poenit Poenite Phut and Put were all terms given by near eastern civilizations to the ancestral homeland of the Poeni nation which was the source of a good deal of ancient trade. It appears to have also been the subject of an occasional military campaign from Egypt. The oldest known expedition to Punt was organised by pharaoh Sahure of the fifth dynasty (25th century BC). Around 1950 BC, in the time of Mentuhotep III, an officer named Hennu made one or more voyages to the land. A very famous one was the one Nehsi for queen Hatshepsut in the 15th century BC, to get myrrh. A report of this voyage is left behind as a relief in Dehr el-Bahri. Several of the Hatshepsut's successors, such as Thutmoses III, also organised expeditions to Punt.

Punt's Location

If it were not for later references from others indicating its mediterranian costal location the fact that the 12th Dynasty
pharaoh Senuseret III actually had a canal constructed linking the Nile to the Red Sea for purposes of direct trade with Punt would seem to narrow the possibilities for its location. Early Egyptian records seem constant in indicating its location south of Nubia but there persist dual referenceds for Put to this location and also to a maditerranian region and Lybia (a term which could refer to almost anywhere in North Africa besides Egypt). Considering all available evidence, some egyptologists (e.g. Flinders Petrie) have postulated that Phoenician colonies are inferred in later references while earlier references refer to the original Phoenicians Puntian homeland on the coasts of the Red sea and even that it was these tribes who established the first major Lower Egyptian port of Buto as well as Byblos from whence they proceeded to sperad their influence in the Mediterranian. It is uncertain what modern geographic territory corresponds to this "Land of Punt". Historians generally agree on eastern Africa, possibly near what is now Somalia or Eritrea. In the late 1990s part of Somalia even declared itself the independent republic of Puntland. However, certain evidence suggests a location on the southern coasts of the Arabian Peninsula. In the past even further places have been mentioned (Mozambique, Bahrain, India), but currently these theories have largely been dropped in favor of the abovementioned ones.

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