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Thursday, November 13, 2014
News, Giza: Fifteen beams of King Khufu's second solar boat arrive to GEM after restoration
wooden beams of King Khufu's second solar boat, damaged by water and insects,
have been transferred to the Grand Egyptian Museum after its restoration in
situ at Giza plateau
fifteen wooden beams of King Khufu's second solar boat were transferred to the
store of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) after restoration.
beams were restored in situ at the Giza plateau after being removed it from a
pit neighbouring the Great Pyramid of Khufu. They had suffered damage from
fungi and insects, Afifi Rohayem, head of the Khufu Solar Boat Restoration
Project, told Ahram Online.
continued that when all the beams are restored the whole boat will be
reconstructed in order to be ready to be placed on display beside the first
boat (which is currently on display in a museum especially constructed for it
on the plateau) at the GEM when it opens.
explained that the restored beams were in a critical condition, which is why
they had been selected from 200 others found in the first layer of 13 layers
that comprise all the boat's beams.
is the third phase of a five-stage project to restore Khufu's second
boat," said Rohayem adding that the first phase began 20 years ago, when
in 1992 a Japanese scientific and archaeological team from Waseda University in
collaboration with the Japanese government offered a grant of $10 million to
remove the boat from its original pit, restore and reassemble it and put it on
show to the public.
wooden beam of khufu's second solar boat
team cleaned the pit of insects but found that water had leaked from the nearby
museum that houses the first solar boat. This leakage had affected a small part
of the wood, hence the necessity to quickly undertake restoration work. The
Japanese team, under the direction of Professor Sakuji Yoshimura, inserted a
camera through a hole in the chamber's limestone ceiling to transmit video
images of the boat onto a small TV monitor on site. Images screened showed
layers of wooden beams and timbers of cedar and acacia, as well as ropes, mats
and remains of limestone blocks and small pieces of white plaster. The camera
allowed an assessment of the boat's condition and the possibility of
told Ahram Online that during the Egyptian Japanese team inspection they found
that the second boat was in a much better state of preservation than the first
when it was discovered in 1954 by architect and archaeologist Kamal El-Malakh,
together with Zaki Nour, during routine cleaning on the south side of the Great
first boat was removed piece by piece under the supervision of master restorer
Ahmed Youssef, who spent more than 20 years restoring and reassembling the
boat. The second boat remained sealed in its pit until 1987, when it was
examined by the American National Geographic Society by remote camera. After
the space inside the pit was photographed and air measurements taken, the pit
was thought that the pit had been so well sealed that the air inside would be
as it had been since ancient Egyptian times, Yoshimura pointed out that sadly
this was not the case. Air had leaked into the pit from outside and mixed with
the air inside. This had allowed insects to thrive and negatively affect some