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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Sobhy

Old Egyptian Boats

Discover the old Egyptian Boats by 3D virtual Reality.

Early Boats

Early Egyptians learned to make small boats out of the papyrus plant. They were easy to construct and worked well for fishing and short trips. Most of the papyrus boats were small and were steered with oars and poles. The typical boat was long and thin and the ends came to a point that stuck out of the water.

Wooden Boats

Eventually the Egyptians began to make boats from wood. They used acacia wood from Egypt and imported cedar wood from Lebanon. They also began to use a giant sail in the middle of the boat so they could catch the wind when heading upstream. The Egyptians built their wooden boats without nails. Boats were often made from a number of short planks that were hooked together and tied tight with ropes. Steering was accomplished by using a large rudder oar at the back of the ships.

Funeral Boats

The Egyptians believed that a boat was needed in the afterlife in order to journey to the heavens. Sometimes a small model of a boat was buried with a person. Often times a full size boat was included in the tombs of Pharaohs and other wealthy Egyptians. There were 35 boats of some type in the pharaoh Tutankhamun's tomb.

Fun Facts about Egyptian Boats

  • The first papyrus boats are estimated to have been made around 4000 BC.

  • The Egyptians developed many types of boats.

  • Some were specialized for fishing and traveling, while others were designed for carrying cargo or going to war.

  • Temples and palaces were often connected to the Nile River using manmade canals.

  • The Pharaoh used a magnificent boat covered with gold and fancy carvings. The Egyptian sun god was said to travel across the sky on a boat during the day and across the Underworld on a boat at night.

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