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From "Science News" 1996

"Apparently the three wise men displayed true wisdom when they made an offering of myrrh to the newborn Jesus. Piero Dolara, a chemist at the University of Florence in Italy, and his colleagues find that secretions of the thorny flowering shrub Commiphora--prized by ancient Mediterraneans for medicine, perfume, and embalming--indeed possess long-rumored ... properties."

From "Treasures of Tutankhamun",
published by 7 Museums including the National Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, who participated in the national showing of this collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts, describing a vase found in Tutankhamun's tomb:

"Some fifty alabaster (calcite) vases for unguents were found in the tomb, nearly all of them emptied of their contents by thieves in a second visitation (the tomb had also been robbed in antiquity of objects made of precious metals). It has been estimated that the total quantity of unguent placed in the tomb amounted to about 105 U.S. gallons (400 liters). That the robbers should have risked their lives to obtain it and also that they should have chosen it in preference to the many other treasures at their mercy would alone prove that it was a costly commodity. The vases being heavy and, in the case of this vessel and four others of the same general character, too large to move through the tunnel, the robbers poured the precious oils into water skins for removal. Chemical analysis of the contents of one of these vessels found intact showed that the principle constituent was animal fat, to which some resin or balsam had been added, while cedar oil was identified as the base ingredient of another specimen. The perfume was extracted from flowers, gums, resins, and other fragrant substances by wringing them in cloths and squeezing out the odoriferous liquids."

Oils of the Bible

"Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment."
-- John 12:3

Other biblical references to essential oils

CASSIA
Exodus 30:24
Psalms 45:8
Ezekiel 27:19

CEDARWOOD
Leviticus 14:4, 6, 49, 51, 52
Numbers 19:6

CALAMUS
Exodus 30:23
Song of Solomon 4:14
Ezekiel 27:19

CINNAMON
Exodus 30:23
Proverbs 7:17
Song of Solomon 4:14
Revelation 18:13

CORIANDER
Exodus 16:31
Numbers 11:7

FRANKINCENSE
Exodus 30:34
Leviticus 2:1, 2, 15, 16, 5:11, 6:15, 24:7
Numbers 5:15
1 Chronicles 9:29
Nehemiah 13:5, 9
Song of Solomon 3:6, 4:6, 14
Matthew 2:11
Revelation 18:13

GALBANUM
Exodus 30:43

HYSSOP
Exodus 12:22
Leviticus 14:4, 6, 49, 51, 52
Numbers 19:6, 18
1 Kings 4:33
Psalms 51:7
John 19:29
Hebrews 9:19

JUNIPER
Job 30:4

MYRRH
Genesis 37:25, 43:11
Exodus 30:23
Esther 2:12
Psalms 45:8
Song of Solomon 1:13, 3:6, 4:6 &14, 5:1, 5, 13
Matthew 2:11
Mark 15:23
John 19:39

MYRTLE
Nehemiah 8:15
Isaiah 41:19, 55:13

SPIKENARD
Song of Solomon 1:12, 4:13, 14
Mark 14:3
John 12:3

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