The Khufu ship is an intact full-size vessel from ancient Egypt that was sealed into a pit in the Giza pyramid complex at the foot of the Great Pyramid of Giza around 2500 BC. The ship is now preserved in the Giza Solar boat museum. The ship was almost certainly built for Khufu (King Cheops), the second pharaoh of the Fourth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom of Egypt. Like other buried Ancient Egyptian ships, it was apparently part of the extensive grave goods intended for use in the afterlife, and contained no bodies, unlike northern European ship burials.
Khufu's ship is one of the oldest, largest and best-preserved vessels from antiquity. It measures 43.6 m (143 ft) long and 5.9 m (19.5 ft) wide. It was thus identified as the world's oldest intact ship and has been described as "a masterpiece of woodcraft" that could sail today if put into a lake, or a river. However, the vessel may not have been designed for sailing, as there is no rigging, or for paddling, as there is no room.
The ship was one of tworediscovered in 1954 by Kamal el-Mallakh – undisturbed since it was sealed into a pit carved out of the Giza bedrock. It was built largely of Lebanon cedar planking in the "shell-first" construction technique, using unpegged tenons of Christ's thorn. The ship was built with a flat bottom composed of several planks, but no actual keel, with the planks and frames lashed together with Halfah grass, and has been reconstructed from 1,224 pieces which had been laid in a logical, disassembled order in the pit beside the pyramid.
It took years for the boat to be reassembled, primarily by the Egyptian Department of Antiquities' chief restorer, Ahmed Youssef Moustafa.[ citation needed ] Before reconstructing the boat, Moustafa had to gain enough experience on Ancient Egyptian boat-building. He studied the reliefs carved on walls and tombs as well as many of the little wooden models of ships and boats found in tombs. Hag Ahmed visited the Nile boatyards of Old Cairo and Maadi and went to Alexandria, where wooden river boats were still being made. He hoped that modern Egyptian shipwrights had retained ship-building methods that would suggest how Ancient Egyptians built their ships. Then he investigated the work of shipwrights who built in a different tradition.
The history and function of the ship are not precisely known. It is of the type known as a "solar barge", a ritual vessel to carry the resurrected king with the sun god Ra across the heavens. However, it bears some signs of having been used in water, and it is possible that the ship was either a funerary "barge" used to carry the king's embalmed body from Memphis to Giza, or even that Khufu himself used it as a "pilgrimage ship" to visit holy places and that it was then buried for him to use in the afterlife.
The Khufu ship has been on display to the public in a specially built museum at the Giza pyramid complex since 1982. Its discovery was described as one of the greatest Ancient Egyptian discoveries in Zahi Hawass's documentary Egypt's Ten Greatest Discoveries .
The ship is housed in The Khufu Boat Museum, a small modern facility resting alongside the Great Pyramid. The first floor of the museum takes the visitor through visuals, photographs and writings on the process of excavating and restoring the boat. The ditch where the main boat was found is incorporated into the museum ground floor design. To see the restored boat, the visitor must climb a staircase leading to the second floor. Floor to ceiling windows allow for much sunlight and the wooden walkway takes the visitor around the boat where the visitor can get a close view of its impressive size- 143 feet long (44m) and 19.5 feet wide (6m).
On 26 May 2019, a Google Doodle was made to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the Khufu ship discovery.
The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza pyramid complex bordering present-day Giza in Greater Cairo, Egypt. It is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only one to remain largely intact.
The 26th century BC was a century which lasted from the year 2600 BC to 2501 BC.
In ancient Egyptian history, the Old Kingdom is the period spanning c. 2686–2181 BC. It is also known as the "Age of the Pyramids" or the "Age of the Pyramid Builders", as it encompasses the reigns of the great pyramid-builders of the Fourth Dynasty, such as King Sneferu, who perfected the art of pyramid-building, and the kings Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure, who constructed the pyramids at Giza. Egypt attained its first sustained peak of civilization during the Old Kingdom, the first of three so-called "Kingdom" periods, which mark the high points of civilization in the lower Nile Valley.
Khufu, known to the ancient Greeks as Cheops) was an ancient Egyptian monarch who was the second pharaoh of the Fourth Dynasty, in the first half of the Old Kingdom period. Khufu succeeded his father Sneferu as king. He is generally accepted as having commissioned the Great Pyramid of Giza, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, but many other aspects of his reign are poorly documented.
Menkaure, was an ancient Egyptian king (pharaoh) of the fourth dynasty during the Old Kingdom, who is well known under his Hellenized names Mykerinos and Menkheres. According to Manetho, he was the throne successor of king Bikheris, but according to archaeological evidence he rather was the successor of king Khafre. Africanus reports as rulers of the fourth dynasty Sôris, Suphis I, Suphis II, Mencherês, Ratoisês, Bicheris, Sebercherês, and Thamphthis in this order. Menkaure became famous for his tomb, the Pyramid of Menkaure, at Giza and his beautiful statue triads, showing the king together with his wives Rekhetre and Khamerernebty and with various deities.
Khafra was an ancient Egyptian king (pharaoh) of the 4th Dynasty during the Old Kingdom. He was the son of Khufu and the throne successor of Djedefre. According to the ancient historian Manetho, Khafra was followed by king Bikheris, but according to archaeological evidence he was instead followed by king Menkaure. Khafra was the builder of the second largest pyramid of Giza. The view held by modern Egyptology at large continues to be that the Great Sphinx was built in approximately 2500 BC for Khafra. Not much is known about Khafra, except from the historical reports of Herodotus, writing 2,000 years after his life, who describes him as a cruel and heretical ruler who kept the Egyptian temples closed after Khufu had sealed them.
The Egyptian pyramids are ancient pyramid-shaped masonry structures located in Egypt. As of November 2008, sources cite either 118 or 138 as the number of identified Egyptian pyramids. Most were built as tombs for the country's pharaohs and their consorts during the Old and Middle Kingdom periods.
Djedefre was an ancient Egyptian king (pharaoh) of the 4th Dynasty during the Old Kingdom. He is well known by the Hellenized form of his name Rhatoisēs (Ῥατοίσης) by Manetho. Djedefre was the son and immediate throne successor of Khufu, the builder of the Great Pyramid of Giza; his mother is not known for certain. He is the king who introduced the royal title Sa-Rê and the first to connect his cartouche name with the sun god Ra.
The Fourth Dynasty of ancient Egypt is characterized as a "golden age" of the Old Kingdom of Egypt. Dynasty IV lasted from c. 2613 to 2494 BC. It was a time of peace and prosperity as well as one during which trade with other countries is documented.
The Pyramid of Khafre or of Chephren is the second-tallest and second-largest of the Ancient Egyptian Pyramids of Giza and the tomb of the Fourth-Dynasty pharaoh Khafre (Chefren), who ruled from c. 2558 to 2532 BC.
The Giza pyramid complex, also called the Giza Necropolis, is the site on the Giza Plateau in Greater Cairo, Egypt that includes the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Pyramid of Khafre, and the Pyramid of Menkaure, along with their associated pyramid complexes and the Great Sphinx of Giza. All were built during the Fourth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom of Ancient Egypt. The site also includes several cemeteries and the remains of a workers' village.
Hetepheres I was a Queen of Egypt during the Fourth Dynasty of Egypt.
Prince Ankhhaf was an Egyptian prince and served as vizier and overseer of works to the Pharaoh Khufu, who was Ankhhaf's half-brother. He lived during Egypt's 4th Dynasty.
Kamal el-Mallakh was a famous Egyptian archaeologist who was among the Egyptian antiquities inspectors who discovered the King Khufu Solar ship in 1954.
Meritites I was an ancient Egyptian queen of the 4th Dynasty. Her name means "Beloved of her Father". Several of her titles are known from a stela found at Giza. She was buried in the middle Queen’s Pyramid in Giza.
Henutsen is the name of an ancient Egyptian queen consort who lived and ruled during the 4th dynasty of the Old Kingdom Period. She was the second or third wife of pharaoh Khufu and most possibly buried at Giza.
The Abydos boats are the remnants of a group of ancient royal Egyptian ceremonial boats found at an archaeological site in Abydos, Egypt.
G1-c is one of the subsidiary pyramids of the Giza East Field of the Giza Necropolis immediately to the eastern side of the Great Pyramid of Giza, built during the Fourth dynasty of Egypt. It is the southern of the three pyramids of the queens and is the one of Queen Henutsen. It is 46.25 metres wide and had a height of 29.60 metres. A niche, four inches deep was dug in the south wall of the burial chamber. Pyramid G 1c was originally not a part of Khufu's pyramid complex, as its southern side is aligned not with the side of the Great Pyramid, but with Khufukhaf I's mastaba tomb nearby. Pyramid G 1c was at some point thought to possibly be a satellite pyramid, because it did not come with a boat pit like pyramids G 1a and G 1b. It was later determined to be an unfinished pyramid however which was constructed in a hurry. Henutsen is thought to have been buried in the tomb. Dr. Rainer Stadelmann believes Khufukhaf is the same person as Khafra and the pyramid was built by him for his mother, but this identification is doubtful.
Several ancient Egyptian solar ships and boat pits were found in many ancient Egyptian sites. The most famous is the Khufu ship now preserved in the Giza Solar boat museum beside the Great pyramid at Giza. The full-sized ships or boats were buried near ancient Egyptian pyramids or temples at many sites. The history and function of the ships are not precisely known. They might be of the type known as a "solar barge", a ritual vessel to carry the resurrected king with the sun god Ra across the heavens. However, some ships bear signs of being used in water, and it is possible that these ships were funerary barges.
The Giza Solar boat museum is located in Egypt. It was constructed around 1985 and is dedicated to display the reconstructed Khufu solar ship.
Archaeologists have begun excavating a 4,500-year-old wooden boat found next to the Great Pyramid of Giza, one of Egypt's main tourist attractions, Egypt's top antiquities official said Thursday.
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