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A Little History

Ancient Mesopotamia : Mesopotamia, ancient Greek meaning ‘Land between two rivers' the Tigris-Euphrates, the biblical land known as Ancient Mesopotamia, The Fertile Crescent, on The Silk Route, the rise of the first civilisation of the world, where time began; Sumerians : 60 parts, 60 seconds, 60 minutes, Luna calendar 12 months, 360 degrees, the wheel, weaving cloth, the cart, the chariot, the sailboat, the plough, the map, mathematics, architecture, sun-dried bricks, astronomy, astrology, agriculture, irrigation, cuneiform writing, copper tools, arrowheads, razors, swords, harpoons, maces, slings and clubs. The first recorded evidence of soap production written in cuneiform on a Babylonian clay tablet 2800 BC. 2200 BC (where oils in soap began), a formula of soap consisting of water, alkali (ash) and cassia oil (cinnamomum) was written on a Babylonian clay tablet. King Nabonidus, Neo-Babylonian 6th century BC : ashes, cypress extract, sesame oil written on clay cylinders, Ur. Babylon : the eighth gate to the inner city, The Ishtar Gate, the three rings of wall more than 50 miles long, wrapped around the most famous city of Ancient Mesopotamia. Greek historian Herodotus, declaring the walls so broad chariots could race around them.

The first handmade olive oil, pistachio oil, laurel berry oil and almond oil soaps traded on The Silk Route at a time when Jesus was born, Roman Emperors, Kings, Queens, Princesses, Pharaohs of Egypt reigned. Galen, 2nd century AD, Greek Physician, Surgeon, Personal Physician of The Emperors, Chief Physician for the treating of wounds to the gladiator school in Pergamum, where long stays in Antioch and Aleppo were frequent, declaring to his patients the importance of the healing powers of the oils in soap (antiseptic, antibacterial). Zosimos of Panopolis 3rd century AD, Greek-Egyptian Alchemist, investigates the composition and chemical changes that occurred in the water and oils. Centuries later, still handmade today, remarkably, from the same historical areas, as the Soapmakers continue making history; hand-cut, dried stored for months being traditionally produced by hand through the generations of families, with only natural ingredients, unchanged throughout the centuries.


The Silk Route : The Merchants of Antioch earned their reputation for hundreds of years from the sale of silk, soap, glass and copper tools, trading under 1400 Roman columns and porticoes for more than two miles, using their vegetable oil filled lamps each night to light up the colonnaded street for more than 800 years. Persian Sogdian Traders travelled and spoke the language of Sogdiana for hundreds of years from Chang'an, (perpetual peace), Han Dynasty, Samarkand to Antioch the third largest city of The Roman Empire, where Hadrian was in command of the army of the East. The greatest concentration of Roman legions ever known, having at his disposal four legions, together with a detachment of The Ocean Fleet at Seleucia, Antioch's sea port. Emperor Hadrian nominated by his legions of the East, Antioch 117AD.

Silk : 2696 BC Leizu, Empress, Wife of The Yellow Emperor, the implementer of silk; by chance a silkworm cocoon fell from a tree into her tea cup unwrapping the silk and strong but, soft thread. Yellow silk : a class distinction. 552 AD : Emperor Justinian I sends two emissaries (Nestorian monks) to China to smuggle silkworm eggs, hidden in rods of bamboo, tired of paying exorbitant silk prices. Later, sericulture (silk farming) began.

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