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A Categorisation and Examination of Egyptian Ships and Boats from the Rise of the Old to the End of the Middle Kingdoms

Michael Allen Stephens
Publication Year:
231pp. Illustrated throughout
ISBN 10:
BAR number:


This fresh categorisation and examination grew from the author's innate curiosity about the shapes and forms of the ships and boats of the Ancient World and particularly of the Ancient Egyptians. Many years sailing and the book by Nancy Jenkins, “The Boat beneath the Pyramid” which considered the vessel buried alongside the Great Pyramid of Giza sparked this curiosity, and from this start point, the focus of the research moved to the catalogue of model vessels in the Cairo Museum collection, published byReisner, and the surviving hulls from Dahshur. These sources were augmented and supported by the work by Boreux. Finds such as the timbers from Lisht added valuable information. An interest in the greater variety of vessels to be known from the Old and Middle Kingdoms concentrated the researcher's attention upon the craft of these periods. Three fragmentary examples of hull forms, supposedly not known until the Old Kingdom, have been included, as the categorization system proposed in this research attempts to push back the previously accepted dates of some Egyptian hull shapes.