Abstract: Building the Pharaoh's Ship: Sail Like an Egyptian


Experimental archaeology, if founded on material culture, can help archaeologists scientifically approach intractable problems. Discoveries of ancient Egyptian ship timbers at pharonic harbors on the Red Sea coast provided a scientific foundation for the design, building, and rigging of the reconstruction Min of the Desert featured in a recent NOVA program. The 20-m long, 30-ton ship was built in Egypt in 2008 and sailed on the Red Sea in 2009. Though long questioned, ancient Egyptian seagoing technology proved to be superior, as the ship was a stable, swift platform, with an average speed greater than 5 kn.

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