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Royal Egyptian Ceremonial Boats

Abydos - Capital Cities

Map of the Finds at Abydos


What: 14 Royal Egyptian ceremonial boats. The oldest ‘planked’ boat that has been
discovered to date

Where: Shunet es-Zebib, Abydos

Why: The Boats seem to have held a ritual significance for the Pharaoh and the Pharaoh’s use in the afterlife. As the Sterns are all pointed towards the Nile.

When: Attributed to 2nd Dynasty Pharaoh Khasekhemwy  Discovered in 1991-2000

Notes: Each boat has its own brick boundary wall in the shape of a boat  – Small boulders at the stern represent the anchor

    – Approx. 75 ft long; 7–10 ft wide; 2 ft deep

    – Bundles of Reeds were used as seams between the planks and covered the floor

    – The Hull was made from local Tamarix wood, the poles and beams from Lebanese Cedar

    – Remains of Paint Flecks show that these were decorated with white and yellow

    – Boats used “unpegged joints” allowing Egyptian boats to be easily disassembled, transported long distances through the desert and then re-assembled


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