Ancient Egypt queen 'killed by poison in flask'

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The Independent Online

German researchers have discovered a carcinogenic substance in a flask believed to have belonged to Queen Hatshepsut, who ruled Egypt 3,500 years ago, raising the possibility that she may have accidentally poisoned herself.

The University of Bonn said that the flask contained what appears to have been a lotion or medicine used to tackle skin disorders such as eczema. Researchers also found benzopyrene, an aromatic and highly carcinogenic hydrocarbon.

"If one imagines that the queen had a chronic skin disease and the ointment gave her short-term relief, then she may have exposed herself to a major risk over... a few years," said the university's Helmut Wiedenfeld.