Queen Hatshepsut's Trading Vessel

A seagoing ship of the Empire Period. One of a fleet of five ships represented in a scene in the temple of Queen Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahri (ca 1500 B.C.), this vessel shows clearly the hogging truss that seems to have been characteristic of Egyptian seagoing craft. The stem-post at the bow reflects the foreign origin of the prototype, whereas the stern-post has been Egyptianized in the form of the head of a papyrus plant. Although referred to in the accompanying inscriptions as "Byblos-ships", the five vessels were in fact part of an expedition sailing the Red Sea to Punt, the modern Somaliland. The rig differs in no way from the standard form in use in Nile ships of the day.

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