Boats and Transportation of Ancient Egypt

Roads were not constructed by the Egyptians to connect their empire’s regions. They weren’t necessary. The Nile River, which cuts directly through the center of their dominion, had already been constructed by nature for them.

Along the banks of the Nile River were where the majority of Ancient Egypt’s main cities were situated. As a result, the Egyptians began using the Nile for shipping and transportation fairly early on. They mastered the art of making boats and river navigation.

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Early Boats

The papyrus plant was used to craft tiny boats by ancient Egyptians. They were simple to build and useful for fishing and day outings. The majority of papyrus boats were small and rowed using poles and oars. The traditional boat was long and narrow, with pointed ends that protruded out of the water.

Wooden Boats

The Egyptians eventually started building wooden boats. They brought cedar wood from Lebanon and used acacia wood from Egypt. In order to capture the wind when traveling upstream, they also started to employ a huge sail in the middle of the boat.

Without using nails, the Egyptians constructed their wooden boats. Numerous short planks were frequently linked together and tightly fastened to form boats. The enormous rudder oar at the back of the ships was used to steer them.

Cargo Ships

The Egyptians mastered the art of creating substantial, durable cargo ships. To conduct business with other nations, they sailed these up and down the Nile and into the Mediterranean Sea. There could be a lot of cargo on these ships. Huge stones weighing up to 500 tons were transported by ships from the rock quarry to the construction site of the pyramids.

Funeral Boats

The Egyptians thought that in order to travel to the heavens in the afterlife, a boat was required. A tiny boat model was occasionally interred alongside a person. The tombs of rich Egyptians and pharaohs frequently had a full-size boat. In some form, the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun included 35 boats.
Sailing or rowing

It turns out that the Nile offered boaters yet another fantastic perk. Boats would be moving with the current when heading north. The wind would usually be blowing in the direction of the ships when they were sailing south, therefore they would utilize a sail. The ships frequently included oars to move much faster in either direction.

How do we know about the ancient Egyptian boats?

For archaeologists to study, very few boats from ancient Egypt have remained. However, there are several surviving models and images of boats due to their significance in religion. Archaeologists can learn a lot about the design and function of the boats from these models and images.

Egyptian Boats: Interesting Facts

According to estimates, the earliest papyrus boats were created approximately 4000 BC.

The Egyptians created a wide variety of vessels. Some were made specifically for touring and fishing, while others were built to carry people or fight in battle.

Man-made canals were frequently used to connect temples and palaces to the Nile River.

The pharaoh traveled in a gorgeous boat with intricate carvings and a gold finish.

According to legend, the Egyptian sun god rode a boat through the sky during the day and across the Underworld at night.