Kyphi : The Sacred Scent
Overview - The ancient Egyptians burned incense three times a day in their temples: frankincense in the morning, myrrh at noon, and kyphi in the evening. For thousands of years the only description of kyphi came from Greek authors who had never seen kyphi made. Read more...
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More About Kyphi by Karl Vermillion
The ancient Egyptians burned incense three times a day in their temples: frankincense in the morning, myrrh at noon, and kyphi in the evening. For thousands of years the only description of kyphi came from Greek authors who had never seen kyphi made. But in 1865 a discovery by a young Egyptologist named Johannes D michen investigating the temple complex at Edfu changed all that. Underneath a thick coating of Nile mud was an entire room full of recipes, with explicit directions for preparation of the Egyptians' sacred incense. Two different recipes detailed the manufacture of kyphi. Karl Vermillion offers translations of the original German and French texts of these discoveries, beginning with D michen's announcement. D michen and his mentor, Henri Brugsch, wrote early reconstructions of these recipes, but their translations of the Egyptian hieroglyphics were flawed. 20 years later Victor Loret wrote a greatly improved translation, which has never before been available in English. Vermillion provides these new English translations along with commentary correlating the ancient ingredient names and their modern identities. Extensive appendices discuss all aspects of ingredient identification and preparation, including a summary of the latest scientific discoveries and literature. This book culminates in a recipe that can be prepared at home. Update Dec 2017: New information about Ingredient XIV It is now known to be a resin obtained from Pistacia species trees. See the blog entry (linked on my Author Page) for additional information and corrections to the text.
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