After 5,000 year voyage, world's oldest built boats deliver. Archeologists' first look confirms existence of earliest royal boats at Abydos by Richard Pierce. A fleet of the oldest built wooden boats in the world, located in the desert sands of Abydos, Egypt "" more than eight miles from the river Nile "" are painstakingly being excavated by archeologists. The work is revealing remarkable new evidence about the wealth, power and technological prowess of the earliest days of Egyptian civilization. The work is being conducted under the authority of Egypt's Minister of Culture, Dr. Farouk Hosni, and the Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Dr. Gaballa Ali Gaballa.
In 1954 two intact Egyptian ships were found at the foot of the Great Pyramid. Around 2600 BC, during the Old Kingdom, the two planked ships were dismantled and buried in two pits, just outside the great pyramid of Pharaoh Cheops (Khufu). Each pit is 30 m long, carved in the rock and covered with a lid of large stone blocks.
Cheops 1 is 42 m long. The hull is flat- or slightly round-bottomed, built "shell first" with cedar-wood planks joined edge to edge by "mortise-and-tenon" fashion and fixed together with rope. It has 10 oars but no mast or sail. The ship is papyriform, imitating a papyrus boat, with the bow and stern ends formed as papyrus bundles.
The Dashur Boats of The Egyptian Museum Cairo. Combined Image Gallery