Ancient "Solar Boat" Unearthed at Pyramids

Boat Solar Museum Great

For the first time in hundreds of years, a multi-ton limestone slab—one of dozens—floats free of the "tomb" of a 4,five hundred-year-aged, disassembled "solar boat" at the foot of the Great Pyramids in Giza (map), Egypt, on Thursday.

Under are hundreds of delicate wood "puzzle items," protected by the weather-controlled tent constructed over the site in 2008.

As soon as the months-prolonged process of extracting the parts is finished, researchers count on to devote numerous years restoring the ship before putting it on exhibit in Giza's Solar Boat Museum close to the Pyramids. A similar ship found close by has presently been reconstructed and is on exhibit in the museum. At about 140 ft (43 meters) lengthy, the restored ship is believed to be a bit larger than its even now fragmented sister.

Solar boats played an essential part in story of the afterlife in historic Egyptian mythology. Each and every evening the sun god Ra—in the form of the night sun, Ra-Atum—was imagined to sail through the afterlife in one boat to battle gods and beasts till he rose as the early morning sun, Ra-Horakhty, and sailed his day boat across the sky.

Buried in the vicinity of the Great Pyramid, the buried sister boats ended up probably intended to help Pharaoh Khufu on comparable journeys in the course of the afterlife.

(Get an ancient Egypt quiz.)

—With reporting by Andrew Bossone

Published June 24, 2011

Finished Item

Photograph by Amr Nabil, AP

At Egypt's Solar Boat Museum in 2008, visitors encompass the reassembled boat long back excavated from the sands around the Great Pyramid. The 2nd solar boat, whose excavation began Thursday, will eventually get the place of the first, which is to be moved to the Grand Egyptian Museum getting built at Giza.(Connected: "Underwater Museum Prepared for Egypt's Alexandria.")

For years the 2nd solar boat had been regarded as also fragile uncover. But now the time is proper, specialists say.

"What truly transformed is that, if it truly is fragile, we have to conserve it now," Hawass mentioned ( via ).