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Sunday, November 1, 2015
News, Giza: Second Batch of Beams of King Khufu's Solar Boat Transferred to GEM
collection of 26 wooden beams of King Khufu's second solar boat have been
transferred to the Grand Egyptian Museum after restoration in situ at Giza
plateau. Written by Nevine El-Aref.
Zidan with the team during the packing of the beams
the framework of the Ministry of Antiquities to restore King Khufu's second
solar boat, still buried in its pit neighbouring the Great Pyramid of Khufu, a
second batch of 26 wooden beams have been transferred to the Grand Egyptian
Zidan, supervisor of the restoration work of the boat, told Ahram Online that
the beams were in a very critical condition as they were partly damaged by the
underground water and the leakage of water of the neighbouring museum that
displays the first solar boat of King Khufu, as well as from insects.
continued to say that these beams were restored in situ in the laboratory
established by the Japanese team led by Professor Sakuji Yoshimura and then transported
to the GEM in order to be stored until the completion of the boat's restoration
all the beams area is restored the whole boat will be reconstructed in order to
be ready to be exhibited beside the first one in a special display at the GEM
when inaugurated," Zidan asserted. He also added that by the transmission
of this collection, the number of beams transported to the GEM has reached 257
pieces from a collection of 567 beams that have emerged from the pit that still
under restoration in the laboratory on site.
Two Beams of the Boat & Beams in storage
said that among the transported beams is the door lock of the boat's main
shrine dedicated to the king.
of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty told Ahram Online that this is the third phase
of a five-stage project to restore Khufu's second boat. 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.
team cleaned the pit of insects and the Japanese team inserted a camera through
a hole in the chamber's limestone to assess the boat's condition inside the pit
and the possibility of its restoration. Images taken show 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 door-lock of the shrine
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. Though sadly, Yoshimura pointed
out that 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 wooden beams.