According to Herodotus and Diodor the Egyptians used cedar oil in the embalming of the dead. Pliny also mentions an oleum cedrinum and its use in the preservation of dead bodies.1) The method of preparation of this oil according to Herodotus, Dioscorides and Pliny will be found at the beginning of the next chapter. Whether this oil is that of the Lebanon cedar (Cedrus Libani, Barr.) can only be surmised, but not established with any degree of certainty.
On account of the durability of its wood, this tree is frequently mentioned in the old testament.2)