A Nile ship of the Sixth Dynasty

A Ship of 6th Dynasty. Before the middle of the Sixth Dynasty the bipod mast had generally disappeared in favour of a single stick of lesser height. Better designed to carry the wider, lower sail that had been evolving. The lower yard, slightly longer than the upper, is now fixed to the mast well above the deck, and clearly is capable of a wider arc of swing than the old short yard, which lay at or near deck level. The heavy single steering oar with its tiller is supported on a stanchion by a rope sling, to relieve the helmsman of its weight. The vessel shown here, from a tomb painting at Thebes of about 2259 B.C., was apparently primarily a passenger vessel. The patterned sail was probably made of heavy matting, a cheaper substitute for the usual canvas.

Link: http://www.geocities.com/ahktenar/ships/ship_6th_dyn.html