The Expedition to Punt

  • By Peter Tyson
  • Posted 12.01.09
  • NOVA

In the 15th century B.C., the Egyptian pharaoh Hatshepsut, a woman who ruled as a king, launched a fabled expedition to a far-away land known as Punt, later recording the journey in a stone bas-relief. In this interactive, use a detailed line drawing of the bas-relief to follow the Punt expedition from start to finish.

Launch Interactive

Follow an Egyptian pharaoh's voyage to the fabled Land of Punt, as chronicled in an ancient wall carving.

Note: Hieroglyphic translations and details of the expedition drawn from "The Land of Punt," by Kenneth A. Kitchen, in The Archeology of Africa: Food, Metals, and Towns, edited by Thurston Shaw et al (Routledge, 1993). Secondary source: The Temple of Deir el Bahari, a six-volume work published in 1894 by the Swiss Egyptologist Edouard Naville.



(main drawing)
Courtesy Steve Flynn
(Hatshepsut portrait head)
© Sandro Vannini/Corbis
(temple at Deir el-Bahri)
© Michal Kram/iStockphoto
(unloading cargo carving, Punt dwelling with ladder carving, men carrying tree carving)
Courtesy Stéphane Begoin
(Nehasi carving, baboon carving, rowers carving)
Courtesy Cheryl Ward

Related Links

  • Building Pharaoh's Ship

    Can the legendary trading vessel of an Egyptian queen sail again?

  • Where Is Punt?

    Despite heaps of evidence and decades of debate, scholars are not certain where or even what ancient Punt was. Why?

  • Anatomy of the Punt Ship

    Click on parts of the pharaoh Hatshepsut's reconstructed vessel and see how they compare to archeological finds.

  • Explore a Pharaoh's Boat

    Examine a masterpiece of ancient shipbuilding found a half century ago buried beside the Great Pyramid.


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