Monday, April 13, 2009

Ancient Egyptian perfume

The royal mummy of ancient Egyptian pharaoh Hatshepsut (d. ca. 1458 B.C.) was identified in 2007 as one of two mummies excavated by Howard Carter (1874-1939) in 1903. Now German researchers plan to resurrect her scent from residue found in a 3,500-year-old perfume bottle that was found with her possessions and is engraved with a hieroglyph of her name. "We think it probable that one constituent was frankincense – the scent of the gods," declares Michael Höveler-Müller, curator of Bonn University's Egyptian Museum, which holds the bottle in its permanent collection. Pharmacologists will analyze the sediment - which can be clearly discerned in x-rays - in the hope that the ancient perfume can be recreated.

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