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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Ancient Egyptians used metal in wooden boats that ferried Pharaohs to their pyramids | Daily Mail Online


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3767520/Ancient-Egyptians-used-metal-wooden-ships.html

Ancient Egyptians used metal in wooden 'solar boats' used to ferry Pharaohs to their pyramids

  • Circular and U-shaped metal hooks found in one of the parts of a boat
  • Boats may have been used for a pharaoh's funeral procession
  • U-shaped hooks were used to place paddles

A piece of wood recovered at a dig near the Great Pyramid of Giza shows for the first time that ancient Egyptians used metal in their boats, archaeologists have revealed.

Circular and U-shaped metal hooks were found in one of the components of a boat, discovered the same year as Khufu's 'solar boat', buried near the Great Pyramid.

Solar boats, buried in pits next to royal burial chambers, may have been used for a pharaoh's funeral procession, while others were intended for travels in the afterworld.

Metal pieces of the second solar boat of Pharaoh Khufu are seen at the restoration laboratory, located behind the Great Pyramid of Cheops on the Giza Plateau. They show for the first time that ancient Egyptians used metal in their boats.

The piece of wood measures eight metres (25 foot) in length, 40 centimetres (almost 16 inches) wide and four centimetres in thickness.

From the boats found across Egypt, 'we have not found the use of metals in their frames like in this boat', Mohamed Mostafa Abdel-Megeed, an antiquities ministry official and expert in boat-making in ancient Egypt, told AFP on the sidelines of a Cairo press conference.

The U-shaped hooks were used 'to place the paddles to prevent friction of wood against wood', said Sakuji Yoshimura, an Egyptologist from Japan.

A piece of wood recovered at a dig near the Great Pyramid of Giza shows for the first time that ancient Egyptians used metal in their boats.

THE SOLAR BOATS OF KHUFU 

A reconstructed 'solar barge' of Khufu

Solar boats, buried in pits next to royal burial chambers, may have been used for a pharaoh's funeral procession, while others were intended for travels in the afterworld. 

Seven boat pits have been identified around the Great Pyramid, five of which belong to the Great Pyramid proper. 

The other 2 are associated with the pyramid of Hetepheres (GIa) and the pyramid of the Ka (GId). 

The Khufu boats from Ancient Egypt were discovered inside two separate pits in 1954 when Egyptian archaeologists were carrying out routine cleaning on the southern side of the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Khufu's boat pits are located on the eastern side of the pyramid and the southern side.

Excavators and restorers collect the wooden beam that may once have held the oars of the pharaoh Khufu's second boat.

The Khufu boats from Ancient Egypt were discovered inside two separate pits in 1954 when Egyptian archaeologists were carrying out routine cleaning on the southern side of the Great Pyramid of Giza.

The Great Pyramid - also known as the Pyramid of Cheops - is the largest of the three Giza pyramids. 

Egyptian archaeologist Mohamed Anwar (R) works on parts of the second solar boat of Pharaoh Khufu on August 31, 2016 at the restoration laboratory, located behind the Great Pyramid of Cheops (aka Pyramid of Khufu) on the Giza Plateau, on the southern outskirts of the capital Cairo.

THE MYSTERY OF THE PYRAMID OF GIZA 

For more than 4,500 years, Egypt's pyramids have kept their secrets hidden deep within the labyrinth of passages and chambers that lie inside their towering stone structures.

But the long-running row over whether the Great Pyramid of Giza is hiding a network of previously undiscovered tunnels behind its stone walls could soon finally be answered.

A group of researchers who have been using cosmic particles known as muons to scan the Great Pyramid of Giza have said they expect to finish their work later this month.

They are using the scans to create maps to reveal the internal structure of the 479 feet (146m) high pyramid and say they could help to unlock ancient secrets that have been buried beneath the stone.

Archaeologists and physicists have been using subatomic particles known as muons to scan the Great Pyramid of Giza (pictured) in an attempt to image the chambers and tunnels hidden beneath its stone. Some believe there may be previously undiscovered chambers hidden inside this Wonder of the Ancient World

Dr Zahi Hawass, a leading Egyptian archaeologist and Egypt's former head of antiquities, is working with a team of French researchers who have been conducting the scans.

He said: 'It's running right now, and if it manages to detect one of the three chambers we already know exist inside, then we will continue the scans.'

Last year thermal scanning identified a major anomaly in the Great Pyramid, the largest and oldest of the pyramids at Giza and one of the seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Those scans identified three adjacent stones at its base which registered higher temperatures than others.

The Egyptian Museum in Cairo on Thursday began putting on display the country's oldest papyruses, which date back 4,500 years, detailing the daily life of the pyramid-builders. 

This led to theories that they may be hiding a secret chamber that has yet to be discovered.

A team of experts then set up the ScanPyramid's project to use muons, tiny subatomic particle that are typically produced by cosmic rays smash into atoms on Earth, to peer through the Pyramid's huge stone blocks, some of which weight up to 15 tons.

Dr Hawass has in the past been sceptical of the usefulness of conducting such scans.

He recently clashed publicly with British Egyptologists over their theory that a secret burial chamber may be hidden behind the walls of Tutankhamun's tomb in his pyramid in the Valley of the Kings.

It houses the tomb of Pharaoh Khufu who ruled more than 4,500 years ago. 

It is thought to have been built over a 10 to 20 year period from nearly two million tons of stone. 

Finished in around 2560BC, it is made from more than 300,000 blocks.

A long-running row over whether the Great Pyramid of Giza is hiding a network of previously undiscovered tunnels behind its stone walls could soon finally be answered.

A group of researchers who have been using cosmic particles known as muons to scan the Great Pyramid of Giza. 

The Great Pyramid - also known as the Pyramid of Cheops - is the largest of the three Giza pyramids.