If the ancient Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut knew how deadly her flacon was, she wouldn’t have touched it. But she did and this may have caused her death.
Pharaoh Hatshepsut was a remarkable female who was just as successful as strong and perhaps this was the reason why she was deliberately forgotten and erased from history.
Hatshepsut was the fifth pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt. Hatshepsut came to the throne of Egypt in 1478 BC. Officially, she ruled jointly with Thutmose III who had ascended to the throne as a child one year earlier.
During her reign there were no were no assassinations, but only prosperity in ancient Egypt. She built more structures than any king previous to her and she was interested in spreading wealth.
Her reign saw one of Ancient Egypt’s most prolific building periods, but pharaoh Hatshepsut was ill. She suffered from cancer that eventually killed her.
For many years, the flacon of Queen Hatshepsut lay unexplored. It was believed to be a perfume flask, until Michael Höveler-Müller, head of the permanent collection at the Egyptian Museum at the University of Bonn, and Dr Helmut Weidenfeld from the university’s pharmacology unit, examined it more closely.
When scientists examined the contents of the flacon, they discovered a deadly ancient secret. The flacon did not contain perfume at all. The flacon of Hatshepsut held a skin care lotion made of palm and nutmeg apple oil. It was used as medication for a monarch suffering from eczema.
In addition, the pharmacologists found a strongly carcinogenic substance that is still being used to this day to treat skin conditions, but banned from cosmetics because it is carcinogenic. A carcinogen is any substance that has the potential to cause cancer in living tissues.
This has made historians wonder if perhaps Hatshepsut was killed by her own medicine.
According to Dr. Helmut Wiedenfeld from the University of Boon, it is very likely that Queen Hatshepsut who had a chronic skin disease may have exposed herself to a great risk over the years by using the dangerous substance.
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