Several Ancient Egyptian solar ships and boat pits were found in many Ancient Egyptian sites.[1] The most famous is the Khufu ship now preserved in the Giza Solar boat museum beside the Great pyramid at Giza. The full-sized ships or boats were buried near Ancient Egyptians' Pyramids or Temples at many sites. The history and function of the ships are not precisely known. They might be of the type known as a "solar barge", a ritual vessel to carry the resurrected king with the sun god Ra across the heavens. However, some ships bear signs of being used in water, and it is possible that these ships were funerary barges.

Comparative table of solar ships

Name of ship(s) Dating Number Discovery site Current site Length & width Owner Discovery date Current status Coordinates
Khufu First Solar ship c. 2566 BC 1 South of Khufu pyramid, Giza Khufu Solar Ship museum, Giza 43.6 m long & 5.9 m wide King Khufu 1954 by Kamal el-Mallakh Ship pit preserved containing wood of ship later on reconstructed 29°58′41″N 31°08′04″E / 29.97806°N 31.13444°E / 29.97806; 31.13444
Khufu Second Solar ship c. 2566 BC 1 South of Khufu pyramid, Giza 2nd Solar Ship pit, Khufu pyramid complex, Giza N/A King Khufu 1954 by Kamal el-Mallakh & 2012 Ship pit preserved containing wood of ship to be preserved 29°58′41″N 31°08′04″E / 29.97806°N 31.13444°E / 29.97806; 31.13444
Hetepheres I Solar Ship c. 2589–2566 BC 1 Pyramid of Hetepheres (GIa), Khufu pyramid complex, Giza N/A N/A Queen Hetepheres I N/A Boat pit preserved 29°58′41″N 31°08′04″E / 29.97806°N 31.13444°E / 29.97806; 31.13444
The Ka Solar Ship c. 2566 BC 1 Pyramid of the Ka, Khufu pyramid complex, Giza N/A N/A King Khufu 1954 Boat pit preserved 29°58′41″N 31°08′04″E / 29.97806°N 31.13444°E / 29.97806; 31.13444
Other Khufu Solar ship c. 2566 BC 3 East of Khufu pyramid, Giza N/A N/A King Khufu N/A Ship pits preserved 29°58′41″N 31°08′04″E / 29.97806°N 31.13444°E / 29.97806; 31.13444
Khentkaus II Solar ship c. 2445 BC 2 pyramid of Khentkawes in Giza (LG 100), Giza N/A N/A Queen Khentkaus II 1906 by Borchardt Ship pits preserved 29°58′41″N 31°08′04″E / 29.97806°N 31.13444°E / 29.97806; 31.13444
Khafre Solar Ships c. 2570 BC 7 5 around the Upper temple: 2 on north side & 3 on south; 2 in tunnels of Lower temple; Khafra pyramid complex, Giza N/A N/A King Khafra 1837 by John Perring ? Ship pits are preserved 29°58′34″N 31°07′51″E / 29.97611°N 31.13083°E / 29.97611; 31.13083
Nyuserre Ini Solar ship c. 2421 BC 1 outside the temple on the south-east corner of Niuserre Sun Temple, Abo Gorab, Abusir Boat pit preserved N/A King Nyuserre Ini 1905 Boat pit preserved 29°54′N 31°12′E / 29.900°N 31.200°E / 29.900; 31.200
Den Solar ship c. 2935 BC 2 northern area of Mastaba number six, Abu Rawash New National Museum of Egyptian Civilization 6 m length and 1.5 m wide King Den 2012 Preserved 30°01′55″N 31°04′30″E / 30.03194°N 31.07500°E / 30.03194; 31.07500
Djedefre Solar Ship c. 2575 BC 1 East side of the pyramid complex of Djedefre, Abu Rawash Louvre, France 35 m long & ? m wide \king Djedefre, son of Khufu 1901 Boat pit preserved & beautiful heads carved into the likeness of Djedefre were found here 30°01′55″N 31°04′30″E / 30.03194°N 31.07500°E / 30.03194; 31.07500
Neferirkare Solar Ships c. 2181-2160 BC 2 North & South sides of Neferirkare pyramid, Abusir mentioned in a papyrus N/A King Neferirkare 1904? by M. Verner only dust remains Boat pits preserved 29°54′N 31°12′E / 29.900°N 31.200°E / 29.900; 31.200
Neferefre Solar Ships c. 2445 BC 5 funerary temple of Neferefre, Abu Sir N/A N/A King Neferefre N/A Boat pits preserved 29°54′N 31°12′E / 29.900°N 31.200°E / 29.900; 31.200
Ptahshepses Solar Ships c. 2445–2421 BC 2 Southern part of the complex of the vizier Ptahshepses, Abu Sir N/A N/A Ptahshepses N/A Boat pits preserved 29°54′N 31°12′E / 29.900°N 31.200°E / 29.900; 31.200
Hor-Aha Solar ships c. 2775 BC 14 between the Shunet ez-Zabib and the Western Mastaba, Abydos N/A 18–27 m long & 2.5 m wide King Hor-Aha 1991 Fragile boat remains 26°11′06″N 31°55′08″E / 26.18500°N 31.91889°E / 26.18500; 31.91889
Khasekhemwy Solar Ships c. 2675 BC 12 Umm el Qa'ab, Abydos N/A 25 m long & 2.5 m wide & 0.5 m deep Khasekhemwy 2000 by D O'Connor Fragile boat remains 26°11′06″N 31°55′08″E / 26.18500°N 31.91889°E / 26.18500; 31.91889
Senusret III Solar ships c. 1839 BC 6 Near the pyramid of Senusret III, Dashur 1 in Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, USA and 1 in the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, USA; 2 in The Cairo Egyptian Museum & 2 were lost? 10–18 m long & 5.9 m wide King Senusret III 1893 Jacques de Morgan Well preserved 29°48′N 31°14′E / 29.80°N 31.24°E / 29.80; 31.24
Amenemhat III Solar ship c. 1814 BC 1 South perimeter of Amenemhat IIIpyramid, Dashur decomposed 15 m long & 5.7 m wide King Amenemhat III ? Ship pit preserved 29°48′N 31°14′E / 29.80°N 31.24°E / 29.80; 31.24
Saqqarah First dynasty Solar boats c. 3100-2890 BC 3 Tomb S 3357, Saqqara N/A N/A First Dynasty of Egypt kings 1957 by W. Emory Ship pits preserved 29°52′17″N 31°12′59″E / 29.871264°N 31.216381°E / 29.871264; 31.216381
Kagemni Solar ships c. 2345 – 2333 BC 2 tomb of the vizier Kagemni, Saqqara N/A N/A Vizier Kagemni N/A Ship pits preserved 29°52′17″N 31°12′59″E / 29.871264°N 31.216381°E / 29.871264; 31.216381
Unas Solar Ship c. 2345 BC 2 150 meter from the funeral Temple of Unas Pyramid, Saqqara N/A 44 m long & ? m wide King Unas ? Ship pits preserved 29°52′17″N 31°12′59″E / 29.871264°N 31.216381°E / 29.871264; 31.216381
Tarkhan Solar ship c. 3100-2890 BC ? Tarkhan (Egypt) or Kafr Ammar N/A N/A First Dynasty of Egypt kings? 1913 by Flinders Petrie N/A 29°30′00″N 31°13′30″E / 29.500°N 31.225°E / 29.500; 31.225
Helwan Solar ships c. 3100-2890 BC 5 Tombs 762 H5, 649 H5, 1502 H2 and 680 H5), Helwan N/A N/A First Dynasty of Egypt kings? 1940s by Z Saad N/A 29°58′41″N 31°08′04″E / 29.97806°N 31.13444°E / 29.97806; 31.13444
Senusert I Solar Ship c. 1926 BC 1? Pyramid of Senusret I, Lisht N/A N/A King Senusret I ? 40 timbers are preserved 29°34′13″N 31°13′52″E / 29.57028°N 31.23111°E / 29.57028; 31.23111
Amenemhat I Solar ship c. 1962 BC 1 Pyramid of Amenemhat I, Lisht N/A N/A King Amenemhat I ? N/A 29°34′13″N 31°13′52″E / 29.57028°N 31.23111°E / 29.57028; 31.23111
Imhotep Solar ship c. 2650–2600 BC 1 Pyramid of Imhotep?, Lisht N/A N/A Chancellor Imhotep ? N/A 29°34′13″N 31°13′52″E / 29.57028°N 31.23111°E / 29.57028; 31.23111

Giza Necropolis

Khufu

Seven boat pits have been identified around the Great Pyramid. Five of which belong to the Great Pyramid proper. The other 2 are associated with the pyramid of Hetepheres (GIa) and the pyramid of the Ka (GId). Khufu's boat pits are located on the eastern side of the pyramid and the southern side.[2]

Khufu First Solar ship

The reconstructed "solar barge" of Khufu
Model of the solar barge, from the boat museum.

The Khufu ship is an intact full-size vessel from Ancient Egypt that was sealed into a pit in the Giza pyramid complex at the foot of the Great Pyramid of Giza around 2500 BC. It was thus identified as the world's oldest intact ship and has been described as "a masterpiece of woodcraft" that could sail today if put into water.[3] The Khufu ship is one of the oldest, largest, and best-preserved vessels from antiquity. It measures 43.6 m (143 ft) long and 5.9 m (19.5 ft) wide.

Picture of discovery place of Solar boat pit covered by stones inside the Solar bark museum.
Solar bark of Kheops. Situation when discovered.
Solar bark of Kheops. Situation when discovered.
Original cord discovered with the Solar boat
Solar Boat pit, Giza Pyramids Plateau, Egypt
One of the boat pits on the east of the Great Pyramid
Khufu funeral ships museum outdoors

The ship was one of two[4] rediscovered in 1954 by Kamal el-Mallakh – undisturbed since it was sealed into a pit carved out of the Giza bedrock. It took years for the boat to be painstakingly reassembled, primarily by the Egyptian Department of Antiquities’ chief restorer, Ahmed Youssef Moustafa (later known as Haj Ahmed Youssef).[citation needed]

The ship is today housed in The Khufu Boat Museum, a small modern facility built in 1982 resting alongside the Great Pyramid.

In one of the southern boat pits a disassembled wooden barge was discovered in 1954. It has been reconstructed and resides in the boat shaped museum.[5] In 1987, the western boat pit at the Great Pyramid was examined by a microprobe inserted through a hole drilled into the pit, confirming the presence of a second wooden boat similar to the first. It was originally decided that the second boat should remain in its pit, in conditions which made its preservation near perfect.[6]

Khufu Second Solar Ship

The second solar boat of Khufu is being excavated in 2012-2013 and is going to be reconstructed.[7][8] Sakuji Yoshimura, a Waseda University professor who is leading the restoration project with Egypt's Antiquities Council, said (June 2011) that scientists discovered that this second ship is inscribed with Khufu's name.

Hetepheres Solar Ship

Associated with the pyramid of Hetepheres I (GIa).[2]

Ka Solar Ship

Associated with the pyramid of the Ka (GId).[2]

Khafre Solar Ship

Khafre Solar boat pits lies on the sides of the mortuary temple of Khafre.

Khafre's pyramid has five pits that once contained funeral boats. One known boat pit is alongside the east face of Khafre's pyramid[9] Another two of the covered boat pits of Khafre lie on the east side of the pyramid & covered boat pit lies on the south side of the mortuary temple of Khafre.[10]

Abu Gorab

Nyuserre's Sun Temple Plan showing the ship pit at the lower left part .

Niuserre Solar ship

A few hundred meters to the north of Abusir, about six miles southwest of Cairo is the sun temple known as Abu Gorab. There lies the ruins of Niuserre's temple, Outside the temple proper and near its southern side, the German expedition also discovered a large building in the shape of a boat. This was a pit, lined with mud bricks which was at one time plastered, whitewashed and colored. This structure was augmented with several other elements made from different materials such as wood. This structure is believed to have been purely symbolic, representing a "solar boat" in which the sun god was supposed to have floated across the heavenly ocean.[11] (The pit might have contained a boat)

Abu Rawash

Abo Rawash Pyramid Boat Pit

King Den Solar ship

A wooden funerary boat thought to have once belonged to First Dynasty King Den has been discovered at Abu Roash, the place of the pyramid of Khufu's son, Djedefre. Unearthed in the northern area of Mastaba number six (a flat-roofed burial structure) at the archaeological site, boat consists of 11 large wooden planks reaching six metres high and 1.5 metres wide.[12] [13] Two boats were discovered at Abu Rawash hill M.[14](2 boats or Ships)[15]

Djedefre Solar Ship

At the complex of Djedefre, Emile Chassinat, between 1900 and 1902, discovered the remains of a funerary settlement and a boat pit.[16] The solar boat pit is situated on the east side of the pyramid. It is a ditch 35 meters long cut out of the living limestone. It is destined for the royal boat. The beautiful heads carved into the likeness of Djedefre were found there.[17]

Abusir

Neferirkare Solar Ship

Neferirkare complex where large solar boats were present at the North and south sides.

Neferirkare's pyramid at Abusir was the largest structure in the region. Large wooden boats were buried outside the pyramid in its courtyard on the north and south sides. Archaeologists discovered them by their mention in a cache of papyrus found within the mortuary temple, but unfortunately, when they excavated the southern boat pit, only dust remained of the boat itself.[citation needed]

Abydos

Abydos Solar boats were found near mastaba of Khasekhemwy marked by letter "V".
Khasekhemwy's Tomb where the Abydos boats were discovered.

The Abydos ships have the honor of being the world's oldest planked boats.

Hor-Aha Solar ships

In 1991 in the desert near the temple of Khentyamentiu near Abydos, archaeologists uncovered the remains of the 14 ships dating back to the early first dynasty (2950-2775 BC), possibly associated with Hor-Aha. These 75-foot-long (23 m) ships are buried side by side and have wooden hulls, rough stone boulders which were used as anchors, and "sewn" wooden planks. Also found within their desert graves were remains of the woven straps that joined the planks, as well as reed bundles that were used to seal seams between planks.[15]

Abydos had at least a dozen boat graves[18] adjacent to a massive funerary enclosure for the late Dynasty II (ca. 2675 B.C.) Pharaoh Khasekhemwy.[19][20] Their age should be more than 400 years older than Khufu's (Cheops)[14] Ships were 25 meters long, 2.5 meters wide and about 0.5 meters deep, seating about 30 rowers. They had narrowing sterns and prows and they were painted.[21] They are in meaning and function the direct ancestors of the boat recovered at Khufu's Great Pyramid at Giza[20][22] The ships are possibly associated with King Aha, the first ruler of that dynasty.[23] The length of the structures varied from nearly 20 to 27m.[24]

These are the world's most ancient planked hulls. The traditions of the hull construction seen in all the excavated vessels continued through the end of the sixth century BC and, with the substitution of nails for mortise-and-tenon joints, into the present. An abandoned freighter, stripped of its internal timbers and left on a small branch of the Nile near Mataria (ancient Heliopolis, north of modern Cairo) provides the first instance of pegged mortise-and-tenon joints in an Egyptian hull. Not all joints were through-fastened, and the pegs, or treenails, may also have fastened frames to the hull, but for this marks a dramatic departure from previous shipbuilding techniques.[25]

Dahshur

Sesostris III boats found near his Pyramid in Dahshur, 1895
Illustration of Sesostris III boats found near his Pyramid in Dahshur, 1895

Senusret III Solar ships

Six boats of Middle Kingdom date were found at Dahshur. They are about 10 m long each.[14] In 1893 Jacques de Morgan discovered six boats near the Middle Kingdom pyramid of Senwosret III at Dashur.[6] He made drawings and measurements of only one boat (the White boat) from the cache at Dahshur.[26] One of the ships measure 18 meters.[27]

Excavations conducted in A.D. 1894 and 1895 by French archaeologist Jean-Jacques de Morgan at the funerary complex of Senwosret III on the plain of Dahshur revealed five or six small boats. Today, only four of the "Dahshur boats" can be located with certainty; two are in the United States, one in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh and one in the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. The remaining two are on display in The Egyptian Museum, Cairo.[28]

Since their excavation these boats remained relatively inconspicuous until the mid-1980s when a study of the two hulls in the United States was conducted.[28]

Amenemhat III Solar ship

The Ship pit was discovered at the south perimeter of his pyramid, it measured 15 meter by 5.57 meters.[27]

Saqqarah

Mastabas

A 'model estate' and funerary boat was found at Saqqara by W. Emery (in 1957-8; tomb S 3357).[14] (3 Ships)[15] At least 3 mud-brick boat graves were associated with First Dynasty rulers and high-ranking officials.[22]

Unas Solar Ship

Unas Solar ship at Saqqarah near his pyramid.

Unas pyramid at Saqqarah has two boats.[29] One the boat pits is 44 meter long and is located 150 meter away from the remains of the funeral temple. Lined with limestone blocks these boat pits are thought to have been simulacra of solar boats.[30]

Tarkhan

Remains of Old Kingdom boats were found at Tarkhan[31] (at least one boat)[21][32]

Helwan

Archaic boats had been found at Helwan by Z. Saad.[14] (4 Ships)[15] In total 4 or 5 boat burials were found at Helwan, 2 at Abu Roash Hill M, and finally others at the northerly Abydos site of the Royal enclosures, near those just found.[14]

Lisht

Senusert Solar Ship

Forty timbers were found in excavations near the Pyramid of Senusret I in Lisht. They were identified as part of vessel or vessels.[33][34]

Amenemhat I Solar ship

Amenemhat Pyramid Solar boat is present at the Western Perimeter of the wall of Amenemhat I pyramid at Lisht.

A mudbrick boat pit has also been found outside Amenemhat I’s pyramid western perimeter wall.[35]

Other Ancient Egyptian Ships

Excavation of the remains of seagoing ships at Wadi/Mersa Gawasis, south of Safaga on the Egyptian Red Sea coast, in 2004–05 and 2005–06 provides extensive physical evidence for construction techniques, wood selection, and recycling and re-use practices of the ancient Egyptians. Discoveries at Gawasis prove that common Egyptian river-oriented design and construction techniques were successful both on the Nile and at sea.[36][37]

See also

References

  1. ^ Vinson, Steve (1994). Egyptian boats and ships. Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire, UK: Shire Publications. ISBN 0-7478-0222-X.
  2. ^ a b c http://www.ldolphin.org/egypt/egypt1/fig32.jpg
  3. ^ "Broadband Internet Services Provider, WISP, VOIP, Fiber, Fixed Wireless, Hosting & IT services - SUCCEED.NET". SUCCEED.NET. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  4. ^ "Egypt Excavates Ancient King's 4,500-Year-Old Ship". Fox News. Associated Press. 23 June 2011. Archived from the original on 26 June 2011. Retrieved 25 June 2011. Archaeologists have begun excavating a 4,500-year-old wooden boat found next to the Great Pyramid of Giza, one of Egypt's main tourist attractions, Egypt's top antiquities official said Thursday.
  5. ^ "Khufu boat pits". egyptphoto.ncf.ca. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  6. ^ a b "ANCIENT EGYPTIAN SOLAR BOAT LAND OF THE PHAROAHS SOLARLADY FIGURE HEAD SUN GOD RA HAWKS HEAD KHUFU HORUS OSIRUS". www.solarnavigator.net. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  7. ^ "早稲田大学エジプト学研究所". www.egyptpro.sci.waseda.ac.jp (in Japanese). Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  8. ^ "Scholars will reassemble ancient Egyptian boat". www.chinadaily.com.cn. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  9. ^ "Electromagnetic Sounder Experiments at the Pyramids of Giza". www.ldolphin.org. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  10. ^ "Applications of Modern Sensing Techniques to Egyptology". www.ldolphin.org. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  11. ^ Kinnaer, Jacques. "The Ancient Egypt Site". www.ancient-egypt.org. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  12. ^ "First Dynasty funerary boat discovered at Egypt's Abu Rawash - Ancient Egypt - Heritage - Ahram Online". english.ahram.org.eg. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  13. ^ "5,000-year-old wooden boat used by the pharaohs is discovered by French archaeologists". Mail Online. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  14. ^ a b c d e f "Francesco Raffaele Egyptology News". xoomer.virgilio.it. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  15. ^ a b c d http://xoomer.virgilio.it/francescoraf/hesyra/helwan.htm Other Solar Boats in Ancient Egypt
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-10-13. Retrieved 2012-12-25.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^ http://egyptphoto.ncf.ca/Abu%20Rawash%20Boat%20Pit.htm Abu Rawash boat pit
  18. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-06-30. Retrieved 2012-12-25.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  19. ^ "Welcome". www.digitalegypt.ucl.ac.uk. Digital Egypt for Universities. 2000–2003. Retrieved 2018-02-24.CS1 maint: others (link) CS1 maint: Date format (link)
  20. ^ a b Archaeology, Nordic Underwater. "Abydos royal boats". www.abc.se. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  21. ^ a b "ANCIENT EGYPT BOAT AND SHIP BUILDING LAND OF THE PHAROAHS QUEEN CLEOPATRA SOLAR NAVIGATOR'S FIGURE HEAD SUN GOD RA HAWKS HEAD TRADEMARK". solarnavigator.net. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  22. ^ a b "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-06-30. Retrieved 2012-12-25.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  23. ^ "Ancient Egyptian Boats". www.articlesfactory.com. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  24. ^ "Abydos Royal Enclosures (Kom es-Sultan) Early Dynastic Egypt period". xoomer.virgilio.it. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  25. ^ "The Promise of Egypt's Maritime Legacy". www.adventurecorps.com. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  26. ^ http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p_mla_apa_research_citation/1/8/1/6/6/pages181664/p181664-4.php
  27. ^ a b The Pyramid Complex of Senwosret I by Dieter Arnold Page 53
  28. ^ a b "The Cairo Dahshur Boats, a Digital Exhibit". cairodahshur.imrd.org. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  29. ^ "DEVELOPMENT OF THE ANCEINT EGYPTIAN ROYAL MORTUARY COMPLEX". www.guardians.net. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  30. ^ Photo of the Week – Unas Boat Pit – Talking Pyramids Archived January 5, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  31. ^ Ancient Egypt: Ships and Boats
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  35. ^ "el-Lisht Necropolis". Egyptian Monuments. 2009-02-26. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
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  37. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-06-30. Retrieved 2012-12-25.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

Further reading

  • Nancy Jenkins – The boat beneath the pyramid: King Cheops' royal ship (1980) ISBN 0-03-057061-1
  • Paul Lipke – The royal ship of Cheops: a retrospective account of the discovery, restoration and reconstruction. Based on interviews with Hag Ahmed Youssef Moustafa (Oxford: B.A.R., 1984) ISBN 0-86054-293-9
  • Björn Landström – Ships of the Pharaohs: 4000 Years of Egyptian Shipbuilding (Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1970) Library of Congress Catalog Card number 73-133207

External links

  • [1] The Solar Barque, Nova Online
  • Web archive backup: Ships of the World: An Historical Encyclopedia – "Cheops ship"
  • The Giza Mapping Project
  • A Visitors Perspective of the Khufu Boat Museum