Second batch of beams of King Khufu's solar boat transferred to GEM
A collection of 26 wooden beams of King Khufu's second solar boat have been transferred to the Grand Egyptian Museum after restoration in situ at Giza plateau
Nevine El-Aref , Saturday 31 Oct 2015
Zidan with the team during the packing of the beams
He continued to say that these beams were restored in situ in the laboratory established by the Japanese team led by Professor Sakuji Yoshimura and then transported to the GEM in order to be stored until the completion of the boat's restoration work.
"When all the beams area is restored the whole boat will be reconstructed in order to be ready to be exhibited beside the first one in a special display at the GEM when inaugurated," Zidan asserted. He also added that by the transmission of this collection, the number of beams transported to the GEM has reached 257 pieces from a collection of 567 beams that have emerged from the pit that still under restoration in the laboratory on site.
Zidan said that among the transported beams is the door lock of the boat's main shrine dedicated to the king.
The door-lock of the shrine
The team cleaned the pit of insects and the Japanese team inserted a camera through a hole in the chamber's limestone to assess the boat's condition inside the pit and the possibility of its restoration. Images taken show layers of wooden beams and timbers of cedar and acacia, as well as ropes, mats and remains of limestone blocks and small pieces of white plaster.
two beams of the boat
The first boat was removed piece by piece under the supervision of master restorer Ahmed Youssef, who spent more than 20 years restoring and reassembling the boat. The second boat remained sealed in its pit until 1987, when it was examined by the American National Geographic Society by remote camera. After the space inside the pit was photographed and air measurements taken, the pit was resealed.
It was thought that the pit had been so well sealed that the air inside would be as it had been since ancient Egyptian times. Though sadly, Yoshimura pointed out that this was not the case. Air had leaked into the pit from outside and mixed with the air inside. This had allowed insects to thrive and negatively affect some wooden beams.
beams in storage