Ancient Ships: The Ships of Antiquity
The Boats and Ships of Egypt
Probably from Guebel el-Arak, south of Abydos
c. 3300-3200 BC (Nagada II)
Silex blade and ivory handle (hippopotamus tooth)
H 25.5 cm; H of handle 4.5 cm
Similar daggers to this with finely carved handles can be found
elsewhere, but the scenes depicted here are unique. On one side
there is a battle scene on land and water; the other side depicts
animals such as lions, ibexes and dogs. At the top, above the knob,
a man in the robes of a Sumerian priest-king is restraining two
rampant lions. The piece raises questions about artistic contacts
with Mesopotamia. It could depict a battle between communities whose
differences can be seen in the design of their boats. What is certain
is that it is an early example of Egyptian bas-relief and it is
carved with great mastery. The silex is worked with a polished blade
cut on one side by thin parallel incisions; this is carving at its
most refined, and characteristic of this period of Egyptian civilization.
Ceremonial Boats and Egyptian ships , First Intermediate period,
circa 2280 BCE
The Egyptians had little use for roads the Nile river was their
Models from the second millennium BCE of fishing boats that show
a sickle shaped hull. The paddlers appear to be sitting upon and
not in the craft that would be the case if the boats were of reed
raft construction. The ancient Egyptians faithfully recorded the
daily life of their culture in their art leaving a historic
legacy that leaves little to guess work. Similar mbost models
were found by Howard carter in the Tutankamen tomb.
on the Nile 1500BCE
Funerary Barge, Polychrome wood boat models and Solar Boat Pectorals
from the Tutankhamun Tomb, symbolically and in allegory the Egyptians
embraced the cycle of the sun a natural reflection of the cycle
of life. The sun is as manís spirit; the sun is the spirit of the
day as a manís spirit is the light of his life.
These models of the ancient boats and ships of Egypt were created
by Egyptian artisans at the historic time the boats were being used.
The Egyptian culture documented activities at all levels within
their culture and these represent excellent illustrations of the
actual boats and ships used in daily life of the Egyptians.