Cairo (AFP) – Czech archaeologists have unearthed an ancient funerary boat near the Abusir pyramids south of Cairo, officials said Monday, in a discovery that could shed light on shipbuilding in ancient Egypt.
The discovery of the more than 4,500-year-old remains of the wooden vessel, which archaeologists believe belonged to a prominent member of society, was made at the Abusir South cemetery, an antiquities ministry statement said.
While members of the team were clearing a mastaba or ancient tomb, they found parts of the 18-metre-long (59-foot) boat covered in sand and lying on a bed of stones, the ministry said.
“This is a highly unusual discovery since boats of such a size and construction were during this period reserved solely for top members of the society, who usually belonged to the royal family,” the director of the Czech mission said in the statement.
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