17 August 2022 The Future is the Product of the Past

The 3,200-year-old perfume of Tapputi, the first female chemist in history, came to life again

One of the scent formulas written in Akkadian on clay tablets by Tapputi, known as the world’s first female perfumer and first female chemist in Mesopotamia 3,200 years ago, has been recreated.

A team of 15 experts, including academics, carried out studies to uncover the 3200-year-old formula.

Tapputi is considered to be the first registered chemist in the world, a perfume manufacturer mentioned on a cuneiform tablet dated around 1200 BC in Mesopotamia. Tapputi is referred to as Tapputi-Belatekallim (“Belatekallim” refers to the female overseer of a palace) on tablets.

In her mixtures, according to the clay tablets Tapputi recorded, Tapputi used flowers, oil, and calamus, along with cyperus, myrrh, and balsam. She mixed it with water or other solvents before distilling and filtering it multiple times.

In this study, conducted in collaboration with Koku Akademisi ve Koku Kültürü Derneği (Smell Academy and Scent Culture Association), the data that shed light on that period were reached as a result of the formulas that Tapputi wrote on a clay tablet in cuneiform.

Akkadian cuneiform tablet in which Tapputi, the first female perfumer in history, gave 3,200 years of perfume formula and making information. Photo: Wikipedia

Fragrance Expert Bihter Türkan Ergül said, “There was some information about Tapputi on clay tablets written in Akkadian. We could find answers to questions such as how it makes the smell, how it performs the distillation process, and how it reaches the liquid fragrance substances in these tablets. Each cuneiform on the tablet gave us a different excitement. The real-time travel was to be able to smell that scent as a result of the work.”

Fragrance Expert Bihter Türkan Ergül, who works with a team of 15 experts in total, said that they have been working for 3 years to bring this fragrance to light.

Mentioning that there are hundreds of tablets on the fragrance that have been unearthed so far, Ergül stated that some of them have been translated and they are continuing to work on the rest. Ergül also made the following statements about the clay tablet written by Tapputi:

Fragment expert Bihter Türkan Ergül. Photo: DHA

“In the scent formulas on the clay tablets, information such as how Tapputi made his transactions in the full moon and how he presented it to the stars one by one. In other words, it is written not only in the formula but also in the way the fragrance is made. How he distilled it, how he used fire and water, how he rested it, how he brewed it, and how he filtered it, are included in the tablet, down to the smallest detail. A total of 27 pages of translation came out of the small two tablets. It took pages to interpret. Such a wealth of information comes out of the cuneiform in such a small tablet. Here, lemon balm, myrrh, rose, and botanical plants are mentioned. Each cuneiform of this gave us a different excitement. The real-time travel was to be able to smell it at the end of the job. After this project is finished, we are left with 11 clay tablets. I don’t know if my life, in the end, will be enough to produce them, but a great effort awaits us in order to keep the scent culture alive and bring it to light again.”

Associate Professor Doctor Cenker Attila: There are two tablets in the world where the name “Tapputi” is mentioned

Stating that Tapputi uses all kinds of plants and substances such as flowers, tree resins, spices, and horseradish in the production of perfumes, Associate Professor Cenker Atila, who is an expert on ancient perfumes, ceramics, and glass works, Said, that there are only 2 tablets in the world where the name Tapputi is mentioned.

One of them is in the Louvre Museum in Paris and the other in the Girl Museum in Germany. The tablet found in the Louvre states that Tapputi was a royal perfumer and was called Belatekallim -refers to the female overseer of a palace-. We have more information on the tablet in Germany. Unfortunately, half of the tablet is mostly broken. Despite this, we learn how Tapputi works with a female assistant whose name ends with -ninu and how he distills perfumes.

Stating that there are two important problems they encountered in the translation of the tablets, Atila said, “One of them is that the tablets were broken and some important parts were lost. The second difficulty is that some plants and containers used 3200 years ago do not have the exact equivalent. For example, we do not know exactly what the “hirsu” vessel is. However, since it is used in the perfume distillation process, it should be a container like a flower pot. In addition, the fact that we do not know the current names of some spices and flowers used in perfume production appears an important problem”.

Banner
Related Post

4,500-year-old rare Canaanite goddess sculpture found by a farmer in Gaza Strip

25 April 2022

25 April 2022

A farmer in the city of Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip, found a rare 4,500-year-old stone sculpture while...

Largest Anglo-Saxon cemetery discovered in Britain illuminates ‘Dark Ages’

16 June 2022

16 June 2022

Archaeologists working on HS2 (the purpose-built high-speed railway line) have discovered a rich Anglo-Saxon cemetery in Wendover, Buckinghamshire, where almost...

Archaeologists may have found the lost 2,000-year-old ancient city of Bassania in Albania

19 June 2022

19 June 2022

Polish archaeologists may have discovered the 2,000-year-old lost city of Bassania in Albania. The remains of two large ancient stone...

4 Aztec child burials unearthed in Mexico and dated to the Early Colonial period may be indicators of Aztec resistance

6 July 2022

6 July 2022

During an archaeological rescue effort in Mexico City’s historic central district of La Lagunilla, the remains of an Aztec house...

1,500-year-old baptistery found in Kadı Castle-Anaia Mound in western Turkey

3 December 2021

3 December 2021

A baptistery, estimated to have been built in the 5th century AD, was unearthed in the Kadı Castle-Anaia Mound in...

International Sand Sculpture Festival Opens with the Theme “The Lost City of Atlantis”

6 May 2021

6 May 2021

The 16th edition of the International Sand Sculpture Festival (SANDLAND) has begun in Turkey’s Mediterranean resort city of Antalya. Every...

Archaeologists have discovered the remains of a stone circle in the Castilly Henge, located in Cornwall, England

20 May 2022

20 May 2022

Archaeologists have unearthed a mysterious stone circle at the center of a prehistoric ritual site near Bodmin in Cornwall, located...

Excavations in and around Yazıkaya, one of the monumental works of the Phrygians, start again after 71 years.

23 July 2022

23 July 2022

Archaeological excavations at Midas Castle in Yazılıkaya Midas Valley in the Han district of Eskişehir, located in northwest Turkey, will...

Restoration works for ancient Arch de Triumph in Palmyra to begin

22 March 2022

22 March 2022

Restoration works of the Arch of Triumph of the Ancient City of Palmyra, which was destroyed by the terrorist organization...

In the city of Gods and Goddesses Magnesia, Zeus Temple’s entrance gate found

26 September 2021

26 September 2021

During an excavation in the ancient city of Magnesia, located in the Ortaklar district of Germencik in Turkey’s Aegean province...

Turkey discovers 11 new major hills near famed Gobeklitepe “Potbelly Hill”

28 June 2021

28 June 2021

Turkey reported on Sunday the discovery of 11 new hills in the vicinity of the renowned ancient site of Gobeklitepe...

Visit Baalbek’s Famous Temples with a Free 3d Virtual Tour

10 April 2021

10 April 2021

Baalbek, which has traces of settlement since 9000 BC, was one of the cornerstones of ancient civilizations. The famous Baalbek temple...

Researchers sequenced the DNA 1,600-year-old sheep mummy from an ancient Iranian salt mine, Chehrabad

16 July 2021

16 July 2021

A multinational team of geneticists and archaeologists sequenced the DNA from a 1,600-year-old sheep mummy discovered from Chehrabad, a salt...

Archaeologists Uncover lost Indigenous Settlement of Sarabay, Florida

9 June 2021

9 June 2021

The University of North Florida archaeological team is now quite sure that they have uncovered Sarabay, a lost Indigenous northeast...

A 3800-year-old cylinder seal was discovered at Turkey’s Tepebag Mound excavations

8 July 2022

8 July 2022

In the 2022 excavations of Tepebag Mound, located around Taşköprü, the center of Adana province in Turkey’s Mediterranean Region, a...

Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.