The ebony trade of ancient Egypt
This study of the hbny ('ebony') trade of ancient Egypt, though complete in itself, forms but part of a wider investigation into the identity and geographical distribution in Pharaonic times of the flora and fauna depicted on the Punt reliefs in the temple of Queen Hatshepsut at Deir el Bahri, with a view to determining the location and extent of Punt. The work begins therefore, with an Introduction in which previous discussions of this subject and the present state of the question are summarized, and the scope of the enquiry defined. In Chapter I the earliest references to the use of hbny are noted, and the meagre textual and archaeological evidence for its geographical provenance is reviewed. In Chapter II an attempt is made to determine the botanical origin of this wood, utilizing the textual evidence and the results of the few examinations which have been made of objects ti, ought to be of hbny. Chapter III gives a general account of the two species of ebony-producing trees at present found in the Sudan and Ethiopia - Dalbergia melanoxylon G. & P. and Diospyros Mespiliformis Hochst. Chapter IV summarizes what is known of their distribution and ecology with reference to the Sudan and Eritrea. Chapters V and VI discuss the evidence for the state in Classical and Pharaonic times of those factors - Climatic, edaphic, and biotic - which influence tree distribution within this area, and in Chapter VII an attempt is made to determine the northern limit of the two Sudan ebonies during the Pharaonic period. Chapter VIII discusses the question whether any of the hbny used in ancient Egypt was obtained from Asia. The enquiry closes with a Statement of the conclusions reached, a Bibliography, and description of the plates.