Sacred baboons as engines of Egyptian trade and seafaring

An ARCE Member Exclusive

Every month, ARCE offers an online lecture featuring research and experts in the fields of Egyptology and Archaeology to its membership. If you are a member of ARCE and would like to attend, please register using the form available below.

Check out what we have in store for this month!

May 9, 2021 1PM EDT/ 7PM EET

(Registration form below)

Speaker: Dr. Nathaniel Dominy

Lecture Information: 

Mummified Baboon British Museum

Egyptians described Punt as God’s Land, a source of marvels that included baboons. It was reached by land or sea and located south and east of Egypt, suggesting a position in the southern Red Sea region, either in Africa or Arabia, Maritime trade between Egypt and Punt spanned some 1200 years, and many scholars view it as the first long-distance leg of the Spice Route. Punt is therefore an ancient state of considerable historical importance, but its location is uncertain and subject of enduring debate. This talk will focus on the bones and teeth of mummified baboons recovered from New Kingdom temples and Ptolemaic tombs. The isotope composition of these tissues is a valuable source of information about the life and lifeways of an animal. In some cases, our evidence points to captive breeding and a lifetime spent in Egypt. In other cases, we find evidence of importation from distant lands. So far, this evidence corroborates consensus on the location of Punt, putting it in the modern-day countries of Eritrea and northern Somalia. 

About Nathaniel Dominy:

Dominy is the Charles Hansen Professor of Anthropology and Biological Sciences at Dartmouth College. His research is focused on primate ecology and evolution, especially feeding adaptations. Most of his fieldwork occurs in tropical Africa and southeast Asia. He conducted research in Egypt as a Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC) Multi-country Fellow in 2010. He lives in Norwich, Vermont with his wife and two children. 






Registration will close 48 hours before the lecture starts. Registration does not include any future lectures in this series.