First Published: 2012-07-25

 

Archaeologists unearth First Dynasty solar boat at Egypt's Abu Rawash

 

Antiquities minister says funerary boat is up to 5,000 years old as it goes back to era of Pharaoh Den, one of First Dynasty kings.

 

Middle East Online

Pharaohs believed solar boats would transport them in afterlife

CAIRO - Archaeologists from the French Institute of Oriental Archaeology in Cairo (IFAO) have discovered a roughly 5,000-year-old pharaonic solar boat in an expedition in Abu Rawash, west of the Egyptian capital, the antiquities ministry said on Wednesday.

The antiquities minister, Mohammed Ibrahim, said the funerary boat was up to 5,000 years old.

"It goes back to the era of Pharaoh Den, one of the First Dynasty kings," he said in a statement.

Unearthed in the northern area of Mastaba number six (a flat-roofed burial structure) at the archaeological site, the boat consists of 11 large wooden planks reaching six metres high and 150 metres wide, Ibrahim said.

The wooden sheets were transported to the planned National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation for restoration and are expected to be put on display at the Nile hall when the museum is finished and opens its doors to the public next year.

The boat "is in good condition," he added. Its planks are now undergoing renovation.

The pharaohs believed that solar boats, buried close to them at death, would transport them in the afterlife.

The IFAO started its excavation works at Abu Rawash in the early 1900s where several archaeological complexes were found.

At the complex of King Djedefre, son of the Great Pyramid King Khufu, Emile Chassinat discovered the remains of a funerary settlement, a boat pit and numerous statuary fragments that bore the name of Fourth Dynasty King Djedefre.

Under the direction of Pierre Lacau, the IFAO continued its excavation work and found new structures to the east of the Djedefre pyramid.

However objects bearing the names of First Dynasty Kings Aha and Den found near the pyramid indicate an earlier presence at Abu Rawash.

In 1954 an Egyptian archaeologist discovered what may be the Pharaoh Khufu's 43-metre solar ship, made of cedar, in a Giza pyramid. The 4,500 year-old intact vessel is on display near the pyramid.

 

UAE pounds Huthi rebels in Yemen as nation mourns 45 soldiers

Moroccans go to polls for local, regional elections

King Salman, President Obama gloss over differences

Washington 'monitoring' reports Russian military is in Syria

IS jihadists blow up tower tombs at Syria's Palmyra

UN stops aid to 229,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan

Bahrain says 5 soldiers killed in southern Saudi Arabia

Drowned Syrian boy buried as Europe grapples with 'migrant' crisis

2,200 Austrian drivers join campaign to pick up refugees in Budapest

More than 1,000 migrants walk their way to Austria

Hungary shuts main border crossing

22 UAE soldiers killed in Yemen

At least 30 migrants feared drowned off Libya

British PM mulls help for Syrian refugees

EU ministers to meet on escalating migrant crisis

Iran submits peace plan to Syria's Assad

Father of drowned Syrian boy tells story of fatal journey

US energy firm gets tough on stalled Israel gas deal

Iran objects to Kuwait linking it to 'terror cell'

Cameron won’t accept more refugees for now

Mideast wars cause 13 million school dropouts

Turkey arrests '4 traffickers' over migrant toddler's death

Egypt sentences dozens of alleged Islamists in mass trial

Netanyahu defiant after Obama secures Iran deal support

Family of drowned child repeatedly displaced in Syria

Erdogan lashes out at EU over Med 'migrant cemetery'

Britain to Cameron: Do more for refugees!

German asylum dream for Iraqis hard to fulfill

Iran’s Basij militia puts on show of strength in Tehran

Death toll in IS Yemen mosque attack rises to 32

UN urges Lebanon parliament to elect president

Syria, Yemen conflicts on Obama-King Salman talks

Suicide bombers hit Shiite mosque in Yemen capital: witnesses

Netanyahu threatens to shoot stone-throwers

David Petraeus: Use Al-Qaeda fighters to battle IS

White House wins enough Senate support for Iran deal

12 Syrian migrants die off Turkish coast

Car bomb kills 10 in Syria regime bastion Latakia

Saudi top cleric slams Iran prophet movie

Iran police to confiscate cars of 'poorly veiled' women

Libya's Tripoli authorities undecided on joining peace talks

Lebanon protesters escalate “You Stink” campaign

Turkey transfers British reporters to new jail

Two Yemeni Red Cross staff killed

Qatar to begin enforcing key labour reform law from November