Perhaps the oldest known expedition to Punt
through Quseir was organized by
Pharaoh Sahure of the 5th dynasty (2458-2446 BC).
Also around 1950 BC, in the time of King Mentuhotep III,
11th dynasty (2004-1992 BC), an officer named Hennu and
three thousand men from the south transported material for
building ships through Wadi Hammamat, and to Punt acquiring
a number of exotic products including incense, perfume and
gum was brought to Egypt. A very famous expedition was for
Queen Hatshepsut in the 18th dynasty (1473-1458 BC).
It was formed of five ships, each measuring 70 feet long,
and with several sails. These accommodated 210 men,
including sailors and 30 rowers, and was led by the Nubian
general "Nehsi". They departed at Quseir on the Red Sea for
what was primarily a trading mission, seeking frankincense
and myrrh, and fragrant unguents used for cosmetics and in
religious ceremonies. However, they also brought back exotic
animals and plants, ivory, silver and gold. A report of this
voyage is left behind as temple reliefs in
Temple in Luxor .