Ancient perfume found on Venus' island

March 16, 2007

Archaeologists exploring Cyprus, said to be home to Venus, the goddess of love, have stumbled upon the world's oldest known perfume factory.

A display of the prehistoric scents and 60 objects from the Cyprus discovery can be seen at Rome's Capitoline Museums, ANSA reported. The distilling equipment is believed to be 4,000 years old.

"We were astonished at how big the place was ... Perfumes must have been produced on an industrial scale. No wonder the island got its reputation for possessing the skills of Aphrodite," said National Research Council archaeologist Maria Rosa Belgiorno, using the Greek name for Venus, ANSA reported.

Perfumes are displayed in alabaster vials found in 2003 and are made of olive oil, pine, coriander, laurel, bergamot, parsley and bitter almonds, ANSA said.

The scents are named after the Greek goddesses Aphrodite, Hera, Athena and Artemis.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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