We already know how to walk like an Egyptian
, and soon we'll know how to smell like one, too.
The favorite perfume of powerful Egyptian "she king" Hatshepsut
may be resurrected from residue found in a 3,500-year-old perfume bottle (pictured), a German research team said in March 2009. (See Hatshepsut photos in National Geographic magazine
X-ray photographs of the 4.7-inch-tall (12-centimeter-tall) bottle, from the permanent collection of Bonn University's Egyptian Museum, reveals remnants of the ancient oil. Scientists plan to identify the substance and, possibly within a year, re-create the perfume.
The bottle, which was found in the queen's possessions after her death in 1457 B.C., is engraved with a hieroglyph (bottom) of her name.
The thin neck "allows a very economical dosing of the valuable content," according to Michael Höveler-Müller, curator of Bonn University's Egyptian Museum. A small clay stopper would have kept the oil from spilling.
"In every case our research will touch new grounds and will maybe enable us to put our noses back into a time more than 3,500 years [ago]," Höveler-Müller said in an email.
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Photograph courtesy Ägyptisches Museum, Universität Bonn Egyptian Museum, University of Bonn