Hatshepsut's flacon ....

In 2009 German scientists decided to test the contents of a 4.7 cm sealed flacon that belonged to Hatshepsut and is now in Bonn. They had assumed that it contained perfume but the test results suggests that it was a fatty substance which is more often used to treat eczema - palm oil, with some nutmeg oil imported from the Far East (see here).

Unfortunately certain ingredients may be carcinogenic, such as the creosote ... but they are still used in prescription medications for psoriasis to this day (my medicine cabinet is full of them).

What's interesting is that nutmeg comes from Indonesia, and Hatshepsut sent a famous expedition to the Land of Punt for spices, as commemorated in the reliefs of her mortuary temple. 

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