Ancient Egypt Boats and Transportation

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.

Ancient Egypt Boats and Transportation
The Egyptians didn’t build roads to travel around their empire. They didn’t need to. Nature had already built them a superhighway right through the middle of their empire called the Nile River. Most of the major cities in Ancient Egypt were located along the banks of the Nile River. As a result, the Egyptians used the Nile for transportation and shipping from very early on. They became experts at building boats and navigating the river.

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.

Cargo Ships
The Egyptians learned how to build large and sturdy cargo ships. They sailed these up and down the Nile and into the Mediterranean Sea to trade with other countries. These ships could hold lots of cargo. Some ships were used to carry huge stones weighing as much as 500 tons from the rock quarry to where the pyramids were being constructed. 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.

Rowing or Sailing
It turns out that the Nile had another great advantage for boating. When boats were traveling north, they would be going with the current. When the ships were traveling south, they generally had the wind blowing in their direction and would use a sail.
The ships often had oars to gain even more speed when traveling in either direction.

How do we know about the boats of Ancient Egypt?
Very few boats from Ancient Egypt have survived for archeologists to study. However, because of the religious importance of boats, there are many surviving models and pictures of boats. These models and pictures tell archeologists a lot about how the boats were constructed and how they were used.

Roman era
Alexander the Great prised this area, being as close to paradise as in the known world. Because of the year-round sunshine and benign temperatures, cooled by the Mediterranean breezes he allowed his beloved veterans to retire here. The area was known in the Ptolemaic and first Roman eras as “Lucassis” which means the white shell, and there is an ancient temple in the area for the god “Horus”, the moon god of the ancient Egyptians. The name “Marina” was given to the area and it means a port, as the sources say, during the time of the Roman Empire the area was previously a port for the export of grain especially wheat, from the area currently known as the Matrouh Governorate, Scientists also discovered multiple archaeological sites near the current resort, and many relics were discovered. The inscribed artifacts express the Roman civilization that settled in the region thousands of years ago, including painted wall paintings, gold pieces, bronze coins, metal utensils, and pottery, all of which are currently in the Marina El Alamein Museum. The architecture during the Roman era in Egypt. It consists of a huge commercial market divided into several sections, large residential neighborhoods, and a huge cemetery carved in the rocks of the mountainous region overlooking the sea coast at a distance of approximately 150 meters. The current Marina lake was created in 1992 to provide a resort for the Egyptian elite.

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