Monday, June 22, 2015

News, Cairo: Thirty wooden beams of Khufu's second solar boat arrive to the GEM

The arrival of the beams at the GEM
A new collection of beams of King Khufu’s second solar boat have been restored, arriving to the Grand Egyptian Museum for eventual display. Written by Nevine El-Aref.

A collection of 30 wooden beams of King Khufu’s second solar boat have arrived to the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) after restoration. The new batch is to be stored in the museum galleries for reconstruction and later display.

Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty told Ahram Online that the GEM houses now 203 wooden beams of King Khufu’s second boat, which was removed from its pit on the southern side of the Great Pyramid.

He explained that the beams were inside the pit since it was first discovered in 1954 by Egyptian archaeologists Kamal Al-Mallakh and Zaki Nour during routine cleaning on the southern side of Khufu’s Great Pyramid.

Packing of the beams
Al-Mallakh then removed the timbers, oars and beams of the first solar boat and left the second one in situ until 2009 when a Japanese scientific and archaeological team from Waseda University headed by Sakuji Yoshimura offered to remove the boat from the pit, restore and reassemble it, and put it on show to the public.

Eissa Zidan, restoration director at the GEM, explained that Japanese and Egyptian restorers removed 468 wooden pieces of the second boat from the pit and to date have restored 342 pieces according to the latest scientific methods.

Yoshimura said that the project would continue until 2018, when reconstruction of the second solar boat will begin. He added that recent restoration work was in the way of “first aid,” and that complete restoration would be done when the boat is reconstructed.

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