The slow-flowing latex begins to dry into a gummy resin below the wound on the bark, and then hardens into amber droplets the size of tears. In essence, the plant weeps when wounded. Once it had been introduced to the Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians, it become of a symbol of purity, immortality, and access to wealth.
It was used to fumigate the bodies of the dead and of suitors on the verge of lovemaking, and was omnipresent in Greek and Roman temples, synagogues, mosques, and cathedrals. By the time frankincense had traveled by camel caravan northward to reach Roman and Greek brokers, its price per volume had risen manifold. During the Roman Empire, a shipment of Yemeni frankincense cost five times what a farmer or artisan made in a year in the eastern Mediterranean.
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Just as there was no single Silk Road, there was no single Frankincense Trail. Today, frankincense has four primary uses.
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First, the people of the Hadhramaur and Dhofar highlands continue to use it as fumigant, air freshener, and traditional medicine to stop bleeding. It remains important as a church incense, particularly in Eastern Orthodox and certain Buddhist rites. It is distilled into an essence used in perfumes, facial cosmetics, and aromatherapy products.
Finally, it has become a historical curiosity, sold to tourists and employed in novel ways by culinary artists in high-end restaurants around the world to flavor candies and baked goods. Peacock , David Williams , A. Be the first to write a review.
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Food for the Gods: New Light on the Ancient Incense Trade
For the Beauty Description Table of Contents Product Details Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book! Industry Reviews it is gratifying to see the field of South Arabian archaeology and the incense routes that formed part of that network being explored with exemplary new sources of data. Our Awards Booktopia's Charities. Item Added:.