King Khufu’s 4,600-year-old vessel, known in the media as the solar boat, embarked on a 10-hour journey from the Giza pyramids to the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) before arriving on Saturday (August 7).
Atef Moftah, GEM chief supervisor, said the process was “one of the most important and complex and unique archaeological engineering projects” (via Arab News).
The ancient vessel was buried with the Egyptian pharaoh. “It is the result of effort, study, planning, preparation, and serious work that spanned nearly a year,” Moftah added.
In 1954, archaeologist engineer Kamal Al-Malakh announced the discovery of two pits for King Khufu’s sun boats on the southern side of the Great Pyramid, the largest of three Giza pyramids.
10-hour journey from Giza pyramids
“During the early hours of Saturday morning, the Grand Egyptian Museum received the first ship of King Khufu,” Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities tweeted.
“48 hours after the start of the process of moving it from its display in the pyramid antiquities area to the Grand Egyptian Museum.”
The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities thanked the museum, Egypt’s Armed Forces Engineering Authority, and the Supreme Council of Antiquities for contributing “to the successful move of the first Khufu boat”.
The 20-tonne solar boat, which is 42 metres in length, will be a major attraction when the Grand Egyptian Museum opens later this year.
GEM receives first ship of King Khufu
GEM will be the world’s largest archaeological museum, with a collection of 100,000 objects, including 5,600 artefacts from the tomb of King Tutankhamun.
The largest artefact is an enormous statue of Ramses the Great, and the grand staircase will boast 87 statues of pharaohs and Egyptian gods.
Earlier this year, the Egyptian Museum transported 22 mummies to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC) as part of ‘The Pharaoh’s Golden Parade’.
The mummies were moved in chronological order of their reigns, from Seqenenre Taa II to Ramses IX. The ceremony included the relocation of King Ramses II and Queen Hatshepsut.
Images: Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities