Khufu ship carbon dating
The work is being conducted under the authority of Egypt's Minister of Culture, Dr.
Farouk Hosni, and the Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Dr. To date, 14 of the large vessels, dating from 3000 B. and estimated to be between 60 and 80 feet long, have been identified, and a large section of one boat has been exposed, conserved and studied by a team of archeologists from the University of Pennsylvania Museum, Yale University and the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University working under permit from Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities.
Then, in September of 1987, Japanese researchers reconfirmed the presence of the second boat, resting below large limestone slabs.
One month later, a group of archaeologists sponsored by the National Geographic Society drilled a hole in the limestone slabs around the boat to insert a small camera, revealing the wooden planks. However, the seal of the entombed boat was breached and water from the museum as well as insects and fungi began to degrade the ancient, vulnerable wood.
Internal framing-a universal aspect of later shipbuilding-is not in evidence, and some of the boats in their graves appear twisted or lopsided, symptomatic of vessels without an internal structure to support them out of the water.
These boat graves contain actual and viable boats intended for a king's use in the afterlife. During the May/June 2000 excavation season, a team that included expert conservators and an ancient boat specialist was able to establish that the boats were placed in their graves many years before Khasekhemwy's funerary enclosure was built-so that they were intended for the afterlife of a much earlier dynastic ruler, perhaps even Aha, the first Dynasty I (ca. And while precise dating, through carbon 14 testing (only accurate to about 200 years), remains to be determined, early excavation of a ten-foot portion of one of the wooden hulls has already yielded surprising results: the archaeologists now believe the boats were not models, as many mortuary-associated objects could be, but viable vessels which could accommodate as many as 30 rowers.
They are in meaning and function the direct ancestors of the famous boat recovered at Khufu's Great Pyramid at Giza and predate Khufu's boat by perhaps as much as 300 years." The Abydos archaeologists knew as early as 1991 that at least a dozen boat graves existed adjacent to a massive funerary enclosure for the late Dynasty II (ca. According to boat expert Cheryl Ward, the mode of construction is unique among surviving ancient Egyptian boats.
Because the boats’ most important journey was intended to be a cosmic one, they may have seen little or no use in water like other ships.
These boats were buried beside his pyramid tomb and hidden for thousands of years.