Ancient Ship Timbers Found in Desert

Tuesday, March 07, 2006
The oldest remains of seafaring ships in the world have been found in caves at the edge of the Egyptian desert along with cargo boxes that suggest ancient Egyptians sailed nearly 1,000 miles on rough waters to get treasures from a place they called God's Land, or Punt. Florida State University anthropology professor Cheryl Ward has determined that wooden planks found in the manmade caves are about 4,000 years old - making them the world's most ancient ship timbers. Shipworms that had tunneled into the planks indicated the ships had weathered a long voyage of a few months, likely to the fabled southern Red Sea trading center of Punt, a place referenced in hieroglyphics on empty cargo boxes found in the caves. Ward, an expert on ancient shipbuilding who previously was a member of famed Titanic explorer Robert Ballard's Black Sea project team, joined archaeologists Kathryn Bard of Boston University and Rodolfo Fattovich of the University of Naples l'Orientale as the chief maritime archaeologist at the site, a sand-covered bluff along the Red Sea called Wadi Gawasis, in December. The project, which Ward will detail in an upcoming issue of the International Journal of Nautical Archaeology, was conducted with the support of Zahi Hawass, secretary-general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities. Scholars have long known that Egyptians traveled to Punt but they have debated its exact location and whether the Egyptians reached Punt by land or by sea. The findings at the Wadi Gawasis confirm that Egyptians sailed a 2,000-mile round trip voyage to Punt, putting it in what is today Ethiopia or Yemen, Ward said. Ward will return to the Wadi Gawasis site next year to continue to excavate and record ship timbers and the ship assembly and break-up process and to reconstruct the vessels as they were originally configured.

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter May 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Navy

US Hospital Ship Aids South Korean Sailor

A U.S. hospital ship conducted a medical evacuation, or “medevac”, May 27 to assist an ailing Republic of Korea sailor aboard a Republic of Korea Navy (ROK-N) submarine.

MAN 28/33D STC Engines for Thai Navy’s New OPV

The Royal Thai Navy has ordered a new 90-m offshore patrol vessel (OPV) to be constructed at Mahidol Adulyadej naval dockyard in Sattahip.  The newbuilding, an improved River-class design,

SCA Applauds Funding for New US Ships

The Senate Appropriations Committee this week acknowledged calls for increasing the Navy’s ship count, funding the construction of 10 new ships, as well as providing the U.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Navigation Offshore Oil Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.0720 sec (14 req/sec)