King Khufu's boat moves after 4,600 years, from the Pyramids to the Grand Egyptian Museum

NEW DELHI: In an outstanding feat, a magnificent ancient Egyptian boat belonging to the pharaoh king Khufu was transported to its new home at the Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza near the pyramids, which is due to open this year.

The boat or the barge is also called the 'solar boat' as it is believed that it was built to allow the pharaoh to sail across the skies after his death.

Early on Saturday morning, nearly 48 hours after the start of the process of moving it from its display in the pyramid antiquities area the King Khufu boat arrived at the Museum in a very specialised container amidst tight security, where it will be put on permanent display.

Since 1982 the Khufu boat had been on display to the public in a specially built museum at the Giza pyramid complex, a small modern facility resting alongside the Great Pyramid. The ditch where the main boat was found is incorporated into the museum ground floor design.

The boat which measures 43.4 meters (142 ft) long and 5.9 metres (19 ft) wide is 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.

Khufu who succeeded his father Sneferu as king is 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 (26th century BC).

He is generally accepted as having commissioned the Great Pyramid of Giza, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and the solar boat which was discovered virtually intact in 1954 by the famous Egyptian archaeologist Kamal el-Mallakh.

The boat built largely of Lebanon cedar planking was undisturbed for thousands and thousands of years since it was sealed into a pit carved out of the Giza bedrock.

Its was built with a flat bottom composed of several planks, but no actual keel, with the planks and frames, lashed together with fibre made of 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.


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