The Ancient Egyptian Navy

By Troy Fox. The use of river vessels and ships in Egyptian warfare is as old as conflict in Egypt itself, though probably at first there was little capability for sea travel. The Nile was always the principal means of transport in Egypt, and the sailing and construction of boats can be traced back to the papyrus rafts of the Predynastic Period. Boats (see also Bargues, Barges and Byblos Boats) were commonly depicted in red paint on the buff colored pottery of the Naqada II Period.