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.

 

UN Security Council warns against holding Iraqi Kurd vote

Syria Kurds vote to cement federal push

Rouhani vows Iran will boost missiles despite US criticism

Yemen leader promises UN to open entire country to aid

Gemstone purchase essential for Najaf pilgrims

Saudi cleric banned for saying women have ‘quarter’ brain

Veteran Syrian activist, daughter assassinated in Istanbul

Tunisia drops forced anal exams for homosexuality

Bomb used in Saudi-led strike on Yemen children US-made

Police charge teenager over London Underground attack

Nigerian official to meet Turkish counterpart over illegal guns

Thousands feared trapped in Raqa as IS mounts last stand

Iraqi forces achieve first step in new offensive on IS

Migrant boat sinks off Turkish Black Sea coast leaving four dead, 20 missing

Trump praises 'friend' Erdogan

Russia clashes with EU over Syria

UN sets up probe of IS war crimes in Iraq

US, Iranian top diplomats confront each other for first time

Air strikes kill 22 civilians in northwest Syria in 48 hours

Iranian supreme leader lashes out at Trump UN speech

Thousands of Huthi supporters mark 3 years since Sanaa takeover

Iraq attacks all remaining IS territory at once

Moscow accuses US of hitting Syrian regime forces

Turkey jails lawyers representing hunger striking teachers

Turkey, Iran and Iraq make joint threat against Kurd vote

Syrian Kurds to hold first local elections in federal push

Qatari expats lauded as statesmen by Arab critics

Shipwreck off Libyan coast leaves over 100 migrants missing

Will Turkey’s opposition to Kurdish state translate into action?

US ups the ante on Iraq Kurds

Macron: Iran nuclear deal no longer enough

Trump’s mind made up on Iran but refuses to divulge

Scores of Iraqis missing during war against ISIS

Netanyahu rejects calls for mixed gender worship at Western Wall

Russia accuses US of missile treaty breach

Iran TV translator mocked for watering down Trump speech

Saudi Arabia hopes Kurdish referendum will not take place

Saudi invites women to sports stadium for first time

Saudi set to create $2.7 billion investment company

Humanitarian disaster grips Yemen three years since Houthi takeover

What will become of Iraq’s Hawija after ISIS?

Multi-ethnic Kirkuk tense ahead of referendum

UN awaits Iran’s defence against Trump nuclear deal threats

US-backed SDF seizes 90% of Syria's Raqa

Man hanged in Iran for rape, murder of child