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History of Incense in Egypt

Incense Inspiration

History of Incense in Egypt

Being very important in ancient Egypt, Incense trees were taken to Egypt by Hatshepsut the day she went to Punt. That's a place in the southern part of Africa. She came with various other aromatic items which were imported from the Mediterranean region of the world. These incense were used in various rituals performed in temples; they were also used to scent bodies when people were alive and died. This was used to purify the homes in ancient Egypt, especially when people felt superstition and wanted the entire air around to be pure. Incense was also used to cure the sick and get rid of ailments regular medicine found challenging to cure. One of the common ingredients used for incense included pistachio resin. 

The world knows that one of the most common forms of incense that are burnt is kyphia. We aren't fully aware of all substances which were used for this. Though we've got the recipes, some of the words used for these recipes have still not been translated. 

egypt incense history

What are the terms of incense used in Ancient Egypt

Any and SnTr were both used by Egyptians to know and understand incense. Both of these were recorded from Punt. It was assumed usually that both of these ingredients were later on discovered to be myrrh and frankincense.

Some analysis was done from the actual New Kingdom, which suggested that snTris might be pistachio. There might have been other ingredients that were added to create ancient Egyptian incense entirely. Frankincense was found, however, from Qasr Ibrîm AD400-500. 

1. Faience Incense Burner (EC271)

2. Amarna's fragment, which depicts burnt incense (W154)

3. The stela shows Commodus, which offers incense to Buchis Bull mother (W946)

4. Stela listings with some incense (W1043)

5. Amarna Incense Burner (W1400)

Marble Coil Censer Incense Burner Copper Cover Ceramic
Marble Coil Censer Incense Burner Copper Cover Ceramic
Marble Coil Censer Incense Burner Copper Cover Ceramic

Ancient Egyptian Incense

There was once a time that burning incense was essential and central to worshiping the gods of ancient Egypt. A considerable quantity of incense was burnt daily in various temples all around Egypt.

Various groups of people made different types of incense offerings to ancient Egyptian Gods like Isis and Osiris.

Details about Ancient Egypt’s Incense

One of these incense was used to worship the gods of Egypt, known as Kapet. It was also better known by its Greek name Kyphi. It is popularly known by the people of Egypt and has been used since the old kingdom days. It has a pleasing scent. This incense was also used for medicinal purposes like healing bites from snakes, get rid of asthma, and cure smelly breaths. A recipe for this type of incense was utterly recorded in the Papyrus records.

Incense like Ihmut and Center, which were both obtained from Punt, and incense, which has a green color that was thought to be originated from Persia, were available in the Thutmose III records. There were priests through the Ramesses III’s reign who recorded white incense, which might have been frankincense and inflammable incense in various offerings. 

Various types of incense are known to be jb. Also referred to on the Steele of Sekerkhabau gotten by Saqqara. This name was written, making use of a hieroglyph for a little male goat. This lead to people suggesting it was developed from using musk. 

egypt incense

Plutarch stated that Ancient Egyptians always burned frankincense when they woke up in the morning, burnt myrrh during the day, and kapet (kyphi) during the evening. Various Egyptian gods got associated with various incense types. These included Hathor, who was highly connected with myrrh, and there were various types of incense used for different ceremonies. 

A lot of these ingredients could be grown at home. Some of them needed to be imported. Hatshepsut recorded some for a trading expedition and sent them to Punt. It was then laid on the temple of her mortuary at Deir el-Bahri. A pretty successful expedition. Various spices and aromatic woods were delivered for creating perfume and incense. 

The expedition ended up being an excellent coup for public relations because Egyptians preferred imported fragrances like Galbanum, cassia, cinnamon, frankincense, and myrrh. These Egyptians tried their best to get their frankincense trees. This didn’t end up becoming successful. 

Ingredients used for Incense in Ancient Egypt

Wood wasn't readily available every time in Egypt. It was in limited supply. The people of Egypt in ancient times made use of wood and cedarwood obtained explicitly from the Levant.

Mecca balsam or Balsomon was easily found in eastern Africa or the southern part of Arabia. These included roses, lemongrass, water lilies, iris. These were also popular though the logos was used rarely in ritual incense. These also seemed to have papyrus which was used to rindand to create different types of incense. 

egypt incense

Type of Ancient Egyptian Matches used for incense

Those days, ancient Egyptians made use of matches that had fifteen packs. Some Egyptians kept their already ready incense inside things that could burn and release the smoke. Then they would use local methods of starting heat to heat their incense and blow out the flame immediately. Before you knew it, everywhere started scenting nice with the aroma of the incense. This was used to cure tragic ailments and to worship the Egyptian gods.

Lotus Flower Sandalwood Censer Incense Holder
Lotus Flower Sandalwood Censer Incense Holder
Lotus Flower Sandalwood Censer Incense Holder

Incense forms used in Ancient Egypt

The forms of incense used by ancient Egyptians included the paper type created with the paper machiere. Then the stick types, which were lightly burnt, and those which had good smokes.

Some people were allergic to smoke in ancient Egypt. Whenever it was time for incense to be used, they excused themselves and came back when incense usage was over.

All in all, incense has a lot of history from ancient Egypt. This is why incense gotten from Egypt is known to be one of the best around the world.

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