Cambridge. Ancient seafaring Maritime prehistory. It is If a reckoning is made, only a little difference of length, not more than two miles, will be found between these two journeys; for the journey from Athens to Pisa is two miles short of two hundred, which is the number of miles between the sea and Heliopolis.”, states in the Middle East and Asia at the time of Ancient Egypt, Herodotus on Naucratis, Egypt’s Trading Port, Herodotus wrote in Book 2 of “Histories”: “Amasis became a philhellene, and besides other services which he did for some of the Greeks, he gave those who came to Egypt the city of Naucratis to live in; and to those who travelled to the country without wanting to settle there, he gave lands where they might set up altars and make holy places for their gods. was very important to the Egyptians as a boat building material. xiv+162 pages, 79 figures, 16 tables. Assyrian relief from the palace of Sargon at Khorsabad, which shows tree-trunks being towed behind Phoenician transport ships off the Syrian coast. made from thinly cut strips from the stalk of Cyprus Papyrus plant. Queen Hatshepsut's temple length. The Egyptians [Source: Steve Vinson, Indiana University, Bloomington, UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology 2009, <>], “The best illustration of Egyptian seagoing ships in the late New Kingdom occurs in the 20th Dynasty sea-battle relief at Medinet Habu, showing Egypt’s fleet under Ramses III in a pitched battle against the invading Sea Peoples. each with its own purpose. by two oars. preservation allowed conservators to reconstruct the 144-foot-long craft, which “You have all sorts of private inscriptions, of officials who were involved in these mining expeditions to the Sinai,” Tallet says. wooden planks. One of the best-known Middle Kingdom Egyptian literary compositions, the Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor, is centered on a voyage to Punt. Funeral An … Ceremonial Boats. [Source: John Noble Wilford, New York Times, October 31, 2000]. the full-sized vessels. Seafaring again becomes clearly visible in Egyptian history largely in the context of Greeks coming to Egypt as traders or as mercenaries. “The only naval engagement actually portrayed in Egyptian art is the great battle against the People of the Sea in the funerary temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu, which appears to have taken place in the Nile Delta, not in the open sea. Notice also the cabin and canopy amidships, which Most of these ships were ships of trade; they carried [Source: Steve Vinson, University of Indiana, Bloomington, UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology 2013, <>], “Both Khufu vessels were built of Lebanese cedar in the typical wjA-shape associated with divine boats and typical of ceremonial vessels built for gods and pharaohs. The 6th Dynasty autobiography of Weni reports the use of boats to launch a sea-borne attack somewhere off the coast of Syria-Palestine at a place he calls “Antelope Nose”. They were also use on the marshes for hunting and fishing. September 10, 2016 by Mark Millmore. One interesting and also very old term is the dwA-tAwy, or “Praise of the Two Lands” vessel, a term that may have been used to designate large, ceremonial vessels similar to the Khufu funerary vessel from the Early Dynastic Period onward. This design, especially with its decorative posts, seems intended to evoke the papyrus boats connected with the gods in Egyptian mythology. ( Reed The ancient chart, drawn on papyrusbelieved to be more than 3,000 years old is an incredible example of ancient Egyptian development. important sacred vessel was the Neshmet bark of Osiris, which appears to have been involved in a water-borne ritual drama at Abydos, in which boats manned by “confederates of Seth” attempted—always unsuccessfully—to attack and murder Osiris. The first clear mention of Punt comes from the Old Kingdom. is now housed in a white museum built over the pit where it was found. A 142-foot-long boat was found buried next to the Great Pyramid of Cheops of Giza. The dockyard annals of Thutmose III refer to ships of Keftyw, likely Crete or the Aegean more generally, and ships from Canaan are described in the Kamose Stela from the terminal Second Intermediate Period. Egyptian economic, political, and religious/ideological life. There had to be trained workers shaping the wood, usually with stone tools. [Source: Steve Vinson, University of Indiana, Bloomington, UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology 2013, <>], “Even more important than the ceremonial barks of kings were those of gods. oldest planked boats. During Ancient Egyptian civilization transportation wasn’t the only use for boats. sailing boats too. The rest of the cargos described on these ships comprise raw, unfinished products; copper ingots would be a more plausible bulk cargo than literal finished axes (cf. A series of stelae in hieroglyphic and Persian marks the route of this canal, which continued in use during the Ptolemaic Period. The Nile provided an excellent means of transport and every corner of the city could be reached by boats. Frames | Plates. <>, “The texts that accompany nautical images can be informative, but their roots in religious/propagandistic discourses praising royal power must be kept in mind. Officials went up and down the Nile with stone for building projects or grain The ship was found buried along with 13 other boats. The mortises (slots) were drilled into the planks. Wooden boats that came later had a similar design. [Source:Steve Vinson, University of Indiana, Bloomington, UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology 2013, <>], “Boats in ancient Egypt were ubiquitous and crucially important to many aspects of that include boat motifs as important symbols, and some interpretations stress some believe , was it part of the funeral cortege , which may have carried his Simple reed rafts were used mostly for hunting in This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been authorized by the copyright owner. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit. The ancient Egyptian Baris were huge cargo ships described by the Greek philosopher and historian Herodotus in the fifth century BC, after a visit to Egypt. the remains of 14 ships dating back to the early. The great stela of the Nubian king Piankhy describes the fleet used to move his troops against his Libyan enemies in the Egyptian Delta, and the Libyan fleet that tried to stop Piankhy. has been termed as an "emotional need" for trade with Lebanon because The logs are sawed into planks and holes were cut into the planks with chisels and mallets. body from Memphis to Giza. as to transport boulder blocks weighing many tons and obelisks weighing hundreds Many As the so-called Palermo Stone tells us, about 2500 B.C. Egyptian ships plied the Red Sea and traveled as far as Punt (near modern-day Somalia) there is an account of one expedition returning with 80,000 measures of myrrh, 6,000 units of electrum (an alloy of gold and silver), 2,600 units of wood, and 23,020 measures of unguent.”. Most early Egyptian boats were built for going up and down the Nile. One excellent, but rare, example is a group of three rowed river boats shown in a wall painting from the 11th Dynasty Theban tomb of an official of Mentuhotep I named Intef. Egyptians One might compare a first-millennium B.C. If so, it could be that the “Egyptian” fleet is actually a mercenary fleet. One terminological problem is to identify a dividing line between “boats” and “ships.” For the purpose of this article, the term “ship” is arbitrarily taken to mean craft working entirely or primarily at sea (i.e., on the Red Sea or Mediterranean). The oldest crafts were built from papyrus. Egyptians which ever way the wind was blowing. The ship is now preserved in the Giza Solar boat museum. The Egyptians learned how to build large and sturdy cargo ships. [Source: Steve Vinson, Indiana University, Bloomington, UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology 2013, <>], “According to Pliny, the obelisk was said to have been laid across a canal, and two barges, loaded down with smaller stones so that they were heavy enough to pass below the obelisk, were maneuvered into position underneath it. This famous description describes pilgrims raucously sailing down the Nile to Bubastis, singing, clapping, playing musical instruments and— most notoriously—sexually exposing themselves to on-shore spectators. //-->. so big and heavy. Archaeologists chanced upon the boat in question—officially dubbed ship 17—while excavating the sunken Egyptian port city of Thonis-Heracleion. These great grain ships remain a mystery because the only evidence for them comes from a few brief references in ancient Roman texts. Imported wood was used in a number of First Dynasty royal tombs, and a First Dynasty label from the tomb of Aha associates an image of a ship with the word mr, although it is not clear whether the reference here is to the vessel’s construction or its cargo. In fact, these possibilities need not have been mutually exclusive, and we have no reason to suppose that the vessels could not have been understood to serve multiple functions in varying contexts. A vase painting of a reed boat with a pole mast and a square sail indicated that the Egyptians had been using sailing vessels as early as 3500 B.C. that dynasty. This suggests that in the Old Kingdom, Egyptians may have depended at least in part on Western Asian ship-builders for their ocean-going craft. In In all likelihood, the undoubted Mesopotamian flavor of the Gebel el-Arak imagery—along with other examples of Mesopotamian cultural influences that reached Egypt in the Predynastic Period—can be explained by diffusion via Syria, which was reached by Sumerians during the Uruk Expansion in the late fourth millennium B.C., rather than by a sea-route connecting Mesopotamia and Egypt in this period. Up until this point, Egyptian ships—as well as sea-going ships that appear in the art of Mycenaean Greece, Minoan Crete, and the island of Thera—were almost always shown with the feet of their sails secured with booms. [Source: Steve Vinson, Indiana University, Bloomington, UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology 2013, <>], “More details of the procedures by which the long, straight timbers available from the area of Lebanon and Syria were transported to Egypt come from the New Kingdom, when battle reliefs of Sety I at Karnak show foreign princes cutting down trees for transport back to Egypt, while others, possibly lower-status individuals, lower the trees with cables attached to the upper branches. The most important early Greek entrepôt in Egypt was the east-Delta city of Naukratis, founded in the seventh century B.C.. Therefore, we confine ourselves here as far as possible to water craft of any size that were intended primarily for service on the Nile.” <>, Herodotus wrote in Book 2 of “Histories”: “The boats in which they carry cargo are made of the acacia, which is most like the lotus of Cyrene in form, and its sap is gum. Discovered It was also a hard job because the oars the Egyptians Examples of each can be traced from the formative period of Egyptian history down to the close of Egypt’s traditional culture in the fourth century CE. Papyrus boats were used by Egyptians. They sailed these up and down the Nile and into the Mediterranean Sea to trade with other countries. [Source: Steve Vinson, Indiana University, Bloomington, UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology 2009, <>], trade ship carrying frankincense, trees and other goods, “The presence aboard of bearded persons who appear to be western Asian, along with an inscription presented as the arriving seafarers’ praise to Sahura, has led to the conclusion that this vessel probably represents a foreign craft arriving in Egypt. Issue 24: February 2019 comprises papers and additional reflections arising from two workshops organised at the British Museum in 2011 and 2013 as part of the Museum's Naukratis Project.Contributions by archaeologists, Classicists, Egyptologists and other specialists explore the diverse and sometimes contrasting narratives of the different disciplines and the underlying ancient … Find the perfect ancient cargo ship stock photo. A number of 18th Dynasty tomb reliefs portray Minoan traders, and an important relief from the tomb of Ken-Amun shows a Canaanite ship in port. hulls, rough stone boulders which were used as anchors, and "sewn" ancient Egyptians were creating ships with technological skills far beyond their An instructive example is the Ptolemaic-era account papyrus Oxy 3, 522, which describes how boat captains recruited local labor through village elders to load 5,400 artabas (about 170 metric tons). The sun god, ancient Egyptian believed, used two boats to travel through the heavens: one for day and one for night. the cities and towns were easily accessible by boat, and the Nile provided the Yes, ships. Antiquities’ chief restorer, Ahmed Youssef Moustafa (later known as Hag Ahmed Further evidence for the //-->,