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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Punt and Aksum: Egypt and the Horn of Africa
Author:Phillips, Jacke
Periodical:The Journal of African History
Geographic terms:Egypt
Northeast Africa
Subjects:foreign policy
Axum polity
History and Exploration
Abstract:This article deals with the changing relations of ancient Egypt with two major successive cultures in the Horn of Africa - Punt and Aksum - from the third millennium BC until the seventh century AD. The earliest historical references date to the Fifth Egyptian Dynasty, but archaeological evidence in the form of Red Sea shells found in Nile valley graves as early as the Neolithic period indicates that contact had been established long before. The Egyptians saw the southern Red Sea as a source of luxury goods, and contact continued at least until the Nineteenth Dynasty. The land of Punt is known only through Egyptian records; no archaeological remains have ever been identified as 'Puntite'. Archaeological remains dating to the periods of the later D'MT (in the mid-first millennium BC) and Aksum (first half of the first millennium AD) kingdoms, together with textual evidence, have provided a more comprehensive picture of relations with the outside world, chiefly for the coastal areas and Red Sea connections. Although overland relations with the Nile valley are more tenuously seen, some texts and archaeological remains nonetheless do aid in identifying major trading routes throughout the period. Notes, ref., sum.