Egypt: the solar boat of Cheops transported to the Great Museum
Sylvie Claire / August 8, 2021
The intact solar boat of the Egyptian pharaoh Khufu, dating back some 4,600 years, has been transported to the Great Egyptian Museum to be inaugurated soon near the pyramids of Giza, the Ministry of Antiquities said Saturday.
After crossing the streets of Giza in an autonomous vehicle, the boat of Cheops discovered in 1954 at the southern corner of the Great Pyramid has completed its long journey to the Great Egyptian Museum (GEM), according to a statement from the ministry.
The Great Pyramid of Cairo -- also known as the Pyramid of Cheops -- is the largest of the three pyramids at Giza and houses the tomb of Cheops, the solar boats were buried in pits next to the royal burial chambers because they were supposed to transport the deceased to the afterlife. The boat of Cheops, 42 meters long and weighing 20 tons, is the largest and oldest wooden artifact in the history of mankind, says the ministry.
His journey on a special remote-controlled vehicle, imported from Belgium, began Friday evening and lasted 10 hours, the official MENA news agency reported. The GEM, on the Giza plateau, where the famous pyramids are located, was presented by Egypt as an important archaeological landmark housing its most valuable antiquities. The date of the inauguration of the museum was not specified.
Egypt is counting on a series of recent archaeological discoveries to revive its vital but ailing tourism sector after suffering multiple shocks, from the 2011 uprising to the current pandemic.
In April, authorities moved 22 mummies of ancient Egyptian kings and queens in a grand ceremony through the streets of Cairo. They were moved to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC), the new home of the royal remains.