Saturday, September 29, 2018
The newly appointed Japanese ambassador to Egypt visits the restoration project of Khufu’s second solar boat as the first archaeological site in his long tour list. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
Masaki Noke, the newly appointed Japanese ambassador to Egypt, visited on Thursday the restoration project of Khufu’s second solar boat in Giza Plateau.
Ambassador Noke viewed the techninque which the Egyptian and Japanese archaeologists are using to lift up the boat’s wooden beams from its original location inside the pit to the surface, before transporting it to the site laboratory for restoration and consolidation.
Eissa Zidan, the head of the Restoration Department of the project, told Ahram Online that the Japanese archaelogist Sakuji Yoshimura, the head of the restoration team, explained to Ambassador Noke that "restoring the second solar boat of king Khufu was his dream to come true.'
Yoshimura said "the Japanese government, through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), had helped him realise his dream by supporting and financing the project."
The JICA will continue its support of the project until the restoration and reconstruction of the boat is completed and the boat is readied to be on show at the Grand Egyptian Museum, which is scheduled to open in 2020.
Zidan told Ahram Online that the restoration team has so far succeeded in removing 866 pieces from the pit, and restored 840 pieces and transported around 700 pieces to the GEM’s restoration centre.
The first phase of the project began over 20 years ago. In 1992, a Japanese scientific and archaeological team from Waseda University, in collaboration with the Japanese government, provided 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.
The team first cleaned the pit of insects then Japanese technicians 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.
The team’s inspection showed that the second boat was in a much better state of preservation than the first one discovered in 1954. Khufu's first solar boat was discovered by the late architect and archaeologist Kamal El-Malakh, together with Zaki Nour, during routine cleaning on the south side of the Great Pyramid.
The 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 via remote camera.
After the space inside the pit was photographed and air measurements were taken, the pit was resealed. It was initially believed that the pit had been so well sealed thus the air inside must have been preserved since ancient Egyptian times. Sadly, though, Yoshimura pointed out that this was not the case, explaining that air had leaked into the pit from outside and mixed with the air inside and this had allowed insects to thrive and negatively affect some wooden beams.
Sunday, January 28, 2018
News, Giza: Japanese Development Agency Official Inspects Restoration Work on Khufu’s Second Solar Boat
JICA's Miyahara Chie paid a visit to the Grand Egyptian Museum's conservation laboratories and got an update on restoration work partly funded by the Japanese government. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
JICA's Miyahara Chie observes restoration work conducted
on King Khufu’s second solar boat
Miyahara Chie, the deputy director-general of JICA's Middle East and Europe Department, visited the GEM's conservation laboratories and was updated on work to restore the ancient wooden boat, a project that is partly funded by the Japanese government.
Eissa Zidan, supervisor-general of boat restoration work, told Ahram Online that Chie was very enthusiastic about the restoration project and hopes to see the craft reassembled and put on display at the GEM soon.
Two boats belonging to Pharaoh Khufu were discovered inside two pits in 1954 as Egyptian archaeologists Kamal El-Mallakh and Zaki Nour were carrying out routine cleaning on the southern side of the Great Pyramid of Giza.
After its initial discovery, the first boat was removed piece by piece under the supervision of restoration expert Ahmed Youssef, who spent more than 20 years restoring and reassembling it. The boat is now on display at Khufu’s Solar Boat Museum on the Giza Plateau.
The second boat remained sealed in the neighbouring pit until 1987 when it was examined by the American National Geographic Society in association with the Egyptian Office for Historical Monuments.
In 2009, 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. The launch of the project involved a $10 million grant from the Japanese government.
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
News, Giza: Egyptian Antiquities Ministry Inspects Khufu's Boat After Accident Causes 'Mild' Damage To Beam
The accident occurred at the site where the ancient boat is being removed from its burial pit. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
The crane used in lifting up the beams from the pit
A team of archaeologists and restorers were dispatched on Monday to the Giza Plateau to inspect work achieved at Khufu’s second boat project, and to investigate the condition of a damaged beam.
Since 2010, a Japanese-Egyptian team has been working to lift, restore and reconstruct the ancient boat, 4,500 years after it was buried as part of King Khufu's funeral rites. So far, 745 pieces of the 1,264 pieces of the whole boat have been removed from the excavation pit.
Ayman Ashmawi, the head of the Ancient Egyptian Department at the Ministry of Antiquities, told Ahram Online that the boat beam was damaged by accident when a crane malfunctioned, leading it to come into direct contact with a beam within the pit.
the crane lifting up a beam inside the pit
"A very small part of the beam was subjected to a very mild deterioration which does not have any impact on the beam itself and could be easily restored during the restoration work carried out by the efficient and skillful Japanese-Egyptian team," Ashmawi asserted, adding that his observation and the team escorted him during his inspection tour confirm the report submitted by the project team.
Ashmawi told Ahram Online that a committee from the Projects Department at the ministry is to be assigned to re-inspect the beam in order to make another report. He also said that the whole case is now under an administrative investigation in order to find out if there was any employee failure related to the incident.
Eissa Zidan, director-general of first aid restoration at the project, explained that the pit houses around 1,264 wooden beams in 13 different layers. The majority of the beams are in a very bad conservation condition while a minority are almost fully decomposed.
A total of 732 excavated pieces have so far been restored, Zidan said, and a collection of 560 pieces have been transported to the Grand Egyptian Museum overlooking Giza plateau.
There are plans to lift and restore all the beams in an attempt to reconstruct the boat and put it on display beside the first boat discovered in 1954 by Egyptian historian Kamal El-Malakh and restored by well-known restorer Ahmed Youssef.
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