Sunday, 11 November 2012

Fit for a Pharaoh

Langstone Cutters rowing captain Mike Gilbert took his family  to Egypt for half term and was deeply impressed by the 2,500 year old Khufu ship in its dramatic hall next to the great pyramid at Giza.
The 43.6m boat was found in a trench next to the pyramid in 1954. It had been buried in 1,224 bits, like monster Ikea computer desk. A bloke spent more than a decade putting it all together, even without that little allen key jobby or the useless instruction leaflet.
It is still not clear if this was a real boat or just a symbolic gesture. Some people believe it was used to transport Khufu's body down the Nile for the funeral. Others point to its very narrow hull (under 6m) to say it would not have  been practical to row and must have been intended to transport the pharaoh through the heavens with the sun god Ra.
I say, let's find out.
Let's build a replica. It could either be an exact reproduction in the same wood and using the old sewing techniques, or a hull of the same size and shape but using modern materials. Either would show us if the layout would be suitable for rowing.
And then I could have a rowing holiday on the Nile.


Tillerman said...

If he didn't have the instruction leaflet how does he know he made it right. Maybe it was really an ancient Egyptian astronomical calculator or a sail-making loom.

O Docker said...

The only part of those Ikea instructions I understand is the stick figure of a guy with a question mark over his head and a telephone in his hand.