Atlantis Online
October 23, 2019, 10:16:04 am
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: FARMING FROM 6,000 YEARS AGO
http://www.thisislincolnshire.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=156622&command=displayContent&sourceNode=156618&contentPK=18789712&folderPk=87030
 
  Home Help Arcade Gallery Links Staff List Calendar Login Register  

Sailing like an Egyptian

Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Sailing like an Egyptian  (Read 143 times)
Dara Meloy
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 124



« on: March 17, 2009, 12:50:16 am »


Sailing like an Egyptian

How did the ancient Egyptians import goods by sea or travel to the fabled Land of Punt in search of gold, ebony and leopard skins? Nevine El-Aref finds out

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
The ancient Egyptians pioneered the development of river craft for various uses, including agricultural and for transporting troops, cattle and building materials, as well as for funeral processions. But what about seafaring vessels? Until a few years ago, there was a widely held belief that the ancient Egyptians did not travel long distances by sea because of their poor naval technology. However, this view is changing.

People in the past tended to assume that the ancient Egyptians did not make long-distance trips because little evidence of such journeys has been found. Based on this belief they also thought that the Land of Punt, the fabled source of many ancient Egyptian imports, could not have been located in the Horn of Africa, but must have been in southern Sinai.

However, these views have changed as a result of the unearthing of timber, rigging and cedar planks dating from the Middle Kingdom to early New Kingdom periods two years ago in the ancient Red Sea port of Marsa Gawasis, 23km south of Port Safaga. This discovery has shed light on ancient Egyptian naval technology and on the elaborate ancient Red Sea trade network.

"Sailing to Punt required a tremendous investment of manpower," ship archaeologist Mohamed Mustafa told Al-Ahram Weekly, explaining that ancient Egyptian shipbuilders harvested cedarwood from the mountains of Lebanon and transported it up the Nile to the site where the vessels were first assembled and then disassembled into travel-ready pieces that could be carried on a 10-day journey across about 100 miles of desert to the coast.

Based on texts discovered more than a century ago, researchers have long known that the ancient Egyptians mounted naval expeditions to Punt as far back as the Old Kingdom to obtain gold, ebony, ivory, leopard skins and the frankincense necessary for religious rituals. The hides of giraffes, panthers and cheetahs, worn by temple priests, were imported along with live animals either for the priests' own menageries or as religious sacrifices, including the sacred cynocephalus or dog-faced baboon. Little wonder, then, that Punt became known as the "Land of the Gods" and as the personal pleasure garden of the god Amun.

When the ancient Egyptian ruler Queen Hatshepsut came to the throne, she sent a fleet of ships to Punt, and this is featured in relief in Hatshepsut's mortuary temple at Deir Al-Bahari. It portrays a total of 10 ships, five entering the harbour and five loading and setting sail. It is assumed that the ships were prefabricated on the Nile at Coptos, a point where the river is closest to the Red Sea, and were then stripped down and transported through Wadi Hammamat by donkey caravan to Qusseir, where they were reassembled.

On completion of their mission to Punt, the ships had to be stripped down again and their parts carried back through the desert together with their rich cargoes. Once they reached the Nile, they would be reassembled and set sail for Thebes.

However, despite these reliefs Mustafa said that in general little is known about ancient Egyptian maritime technology. Remains of Old Kingdom boats have been found at Tarkhan, Abydos and on the Giza Plateau in the shape of the Pharaoh Khufu's solar boats. Evidence of later New Kingdom vessels is engraved on the walls of temples, for example those at Deir Al-Bahari and Medinet Habu. However, very little is known about how these New Kingdom ships were put together.

So how did the ancient Egyptians sail to the Land of Punt, and how did they use their maritime technology to resist the destructive forces of the sea?

In order to try to answer such questions, a team of French, Italian, American and Egyptian archaeologists working with shipping experts have reconstructed an ancient Egyptian ship of the first quarter of the second millennium BC called "Min of the Desert". The idea was to set sail across the Red Sea in order to experience how the ancient Egyptians sailed to Punt and to expand the data available from archaeological evidence and the technical study of ships in ancient Egypt.

"Min of the Desert" was built in Rosetta using techniques that the ancient Egyptians would have used and then transported to Marsa Gawasis on the Red Sea, from where it started its sea voyage. Before starting the trip, the 24-strong crew paid a visit to the Giza Plateau where Khufu's solar boat is located and to the Egyptian museum where the funerary boats of Senwosret III, unearthed at the Dahshour necropolis, are exhibited, in order to prepare them for the unusual aspects of sailing in an ancient Egyptian ship. Such ships were built without using nails, and the planks used to construct them were designed to fit together like pieces of a puzzle.

"The purpose of the expedition was to understand the capabilities of a reconstruction of an ancient Egyptian ship," said ship archaeologist Cheryl Ward of Florida State University, adding that the ship used the same technology as that used 4,000 years ago, as shown by discoveries at Marsa Gawasis.

The rigging of the ship was reconstructed from models and from the bas reliefs at the temple of Queen Hatshepsut at Al-Deir Al-Bahari. "Our primary goal was to demonstrate the extraordinary capability of the Egyptians at sea, as many people, including fellow archaeologists, have thought of the Egyptians as tied to the Nile and lacking the ability to go to sea," Ward said.

In order to save time, the team did not only use ancient shipbuilding techniques but was assisted by modern technology, such as electric saws to rough cut the planks. However, following this phase most of the work was done using hand tools following ancient examples, though these were made of iron rather than hammered copper. The construction phase lasted eight months.

The completed ship was 20m long, 4.9m wide, and 1.7m high under the beams. Its construction made it possible to check that the design (shell first) and its method of construction (the absence of a frame and assembly by non-pegged tenon joints), based on the interpretation of the archaeological and iconographic evidence, were technically realisable and effective. According to Mustafa, the ship's rigging can be operated by a crew of 15, and it is possible to sail at an average speed of 5.5 knots in favourable conditions. When using the oars, it is possible to reach a speed of 2.5 knots using 14 oarsmen. The ship's steering system proved to be effective, but heavy to operate, he said.

The completed ship "confirms the most recent hypothesis on the construction of the ships of ancient Egypt," Ward said, adding that tests were made in the shape of short trips on the Nile, then in the Red Sea, and then in the shape of a longer trial voyage south towards the Sudan from Safaga along the route used by the ancient Egyptians. "Min of the Desert" is the only experimental reconstruction of a ship from the ancient Egyptian period that has yet been carried out based on scientifically validated archaeological evidence.

Those who made the test voyages were generally full of praise for the technology of the ancient Egyptians. "At first, it seemed to me to be a crazy project," said Mahrous Lahma, an Egyptian worker who worked on the ship, "but then I grew to respect the technology and to have faith in the ship, and I was with them every minute of the voyage."

The crew were worried that the ship would not be able to withstand the strong sea waves, particularly since it was held together by wooden joints alone, as was ancient Egyptian practice. However, even in swells of up to three metres, the ship handled well, corkscrewing through the waves smoothly and taking only one small splash of a wave over the rail even when the wind was blowing at 25 knots.

"Although it took brute strength to haul up the sail and to row the ship, once the sail was set all of us remarked on the efficiency and simplicity of the ship when manoeuvring and steering, and on its responsiveness," Mustafa commented.

"We did not have any particular problems with the navigation. In fact, the ship was easy to sail. We did not practise anchoring, though it would have been possible to do that, but our intention was not to imitate the voyage entirely."

Many people helped to make the project work, notably Sombrero & Co., a documentary film production company based in France, which sponsored the project and made a film about it that will now be broadcast internationally and on NOVA/WGBH in the United States.
 


© Copyright Al-Ahram Weekly. All rights reserved

 http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2009/938/special.htm

Report Spam   Logged

Dara Meloy
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 124



« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2009, 12:51:01 am »



Clockwise from top: the Min of the desert crossing the Red Sea; the crew on board; the reconstruction of Min
Report Spam   Logged
Qoais
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3423



« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2009, 01:32:52 am »

Where Is Punt, the ‘Land of God’?

Three years after the discovery of the cache in the caves on the Red Sea coast, speculations have been made about just where those ships might have gone.  I find this fascinating, because up until now, everyone thought the Egyptians merely sailed the coast lines or hung out in the Med. Sea.  Earlier on, I made a statement in another forum, without even thinking - and I should never do that because they zero in for the kill immediately!!  One word wrong in a sentence and they have your balls for bookends.  Lips sealed  I have loved the story about these boats ever since they were discovered, so with that in mind, I made mention that the Egyptians sailed the "ocean".  Oops!  Nailed.  So they made mention that I might like to quote a source and I thought hey, I'll talk about the boats they found and to do it rather quickly, I thought of Punt.  So in answer to their request, I posted back just saying "Where's Punt"?  Meaning, if they come back at me that Punt was beyond the Red Sea, I've nailed them back.  That means the Egyptians were in the ocean.  So I typed in my Google window, "Where's Punt" and I was head over heels with happiness when the following came up:  And just for the hell of it, I'm going to bring most of it over here (as Julia used to say).

Where Is Punt, the ‘Land of God’?
by Rick Sanders

In late 2006, archaeologists                                 
work from German by H. Quiring, who
believes that Punt was the island of Sumatra,
where the Egyptians mined gold
between 1200 and 500 B.C.
Quiring mentioned two French sinologists,
Pauthier and Bazin, who reported
that in 1113 B.C., the Chinese emperor
Chou-Kung received ambassadors from
the kingdom of Ni-li, probably Egyptians,
who had made a long voyage in “swimming
houses” and who could determine
their position by means of observation of
the Sun and heavenly bodies. Carter then
did a calculation, taking the average
speed of a ship during the 1600s (from
Francesco Carletti’s My Voyage Around
the World), and concluded that in three
years you could go around the world at a
leisurely pace. Therefore, Punt could be
half the world away.
excavating man-made caves
on the coast of the Red Sea
found well-preserved cedar
timbers, together with limestone
block-anchors, curved
cedar steering oars, rigging
ropes of sea-going vessels dating
back 3 ,800 years old, buried
at what is today called Wadi
Gawasis, near what was a port
on the Red Sea in pharaonic
times.
Also found were references
to the “Land of God,” or Punt,
which caused more than a little
excitement, since the very existence
of Punt had become obscured
in the mists of the time.
The question that has not yet
been answered is: Where is
Punt? Egyptian scholars do not
agree on its location: The University
of Cairo says it’s Yemen, Somalia,
Ethiopia, Eritrea, or Sudan. Others add
Zimbabwe, Hadhramaut, or India. But in
our judgment, even India is too close, for
none of these destinations would require
a return trip of three years, which is the
time agreed upon by most Egyptian historical
sources for the journey to and
from Punt. Nor would you need 10,000
men, the number cited by historical
sources.
And then there’s the question of the
minerals that the Egyptians brought back
from Punt—antimony and gold. The
nearest antimony to Egypt is only 3 ,000
miles away, in Madagascar. But where
did the gold come from?
As you will see below, the late Paul
Gallez, an ancient map scholar, believed
that the land of Punt was in the Puno region
of Peru. The geographer, historian,
intellectual troublemaker, and Barry Fell
work from German by H. Quiring, who
believes that Punt was the island of Sumatra,
where the Egyptians mined gold
between 1200 and 500 B.C.
Quiring mentioned two French sinologists,
Pauthier and Bazin, who reported
that in 1113 B.C., the Chinese emperor
Chou-Kung received ambassadors from
the kingdom of Ni-li, probably Egyptians,
who had made a long voyage in “swimming
houses” and who could determine
their position by means of observation of
the Sun and heavenly bodies. Carter then
did a calculation, taking the average
speed of a ship during the 1600s (from
Francesco Carletti’s My Voyage Around
the World), and concluded that in three
years you could go around the world at a
leisurely pace. Therefore, Punt could be
half the world away.


..to be continued
Report Spam   Logged

An open-minded view of the past allows for an unprejudiced glimpse into the future.

Logic rules.

"Intellectual brilliance is no guarantee against being dead wrong."
Qoais
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3423



« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2009, 01:35:14 am »

.....continued

Nito Verdera, the Ibizan journalist and
indefatigable investigator of Christopher
Columbus, has summarized the theory of
his historian friend, the now deceased
Paul Gallez, which he has given us permission
to include here.
Nito Verdera: The Egyptian Theory
“In La Cola del Dragón, Paul Gallez
tells us that the theory referring to the
earliest travels to distant lands as yet not
identified with total certainty, is that of
the expeditions to the Land of Punt (Richard
Hennig, Terrae Incognitae, 4 vols,
Leiden, Brill 1950, in vol. I, pages 5-13).
The first known voyage to this region is
that organised by the pharaoh Sahure of
the fifth dynasty (circa 2550 B.C.). His
ships brought back incense, myrrh, gold,
silver, precious woods and slaves from
Punt and the many other lands and islands
they called at during the voyage.
Not all these items came from the Land
of Punt, so we do not have to look for just
one country producing all these riches.
“The pharaoh Asa (Isesi) followed Sahure’s
example, and around 2400 B.C.
he also sent out his fleets to the Land of
Punt. One of the princesses of the sixth
dynasty was placed in her tomb, ready
for her journey to the Land of the Dead,
wearing a lip colouring with an antimony
base, though this metal was totally unknown
in Egypt and any of its neighbouring
countries. The stone on the tomb of
Knemhopet, a pilot from the island of Elephantine
who had been on eleven voyages
to the Land of Punt, dates back to
the same period. . . .”
“The best-known and possibly the
most fruitful voyages, are those organised
by Queen Hatshepsut (also called
Hacheput, Hatcheposut, Huschpeswa,
Hatashopsitu, Hachepsowe, Hatasuput
and Hatscheposut, 1501-1482 B.C.)
whose deeds are engraved in the temple
of Deir-el-Bahari, which she herself ordered
to be built in Thebes to honour
Amen-Ra. Hatshepsut’s main expedition
was made up of at least five large ships
with thirty oarsmen in each of them. They
sailed from somewhere on the Red Sea
and were away for three years.
“One of the inscriptions in the temple
of Deir-el-Bahari reads: ‘The inhabitants
of Punt asked: How have you reached
this country unknown to man? Have you
flown here through the sky, or have you
sailed across the Great Ocean from the
Land of the Gods?’ (Richard Hennig: Terrae
Incognitae, 4 vols, Leiden, Brill 1950,
I, 5, Ophir). . . .
“How can one not feel tempted by interpretations
that immediately
spring to mind and
would seem to give each
other mutual support? The
expression ‘Great Ocean’ is
what we know today as the
Pacific Ocean. The Land of
the Gods is the name given
to the West in all mythologies,
which would place the
Pacific to the west of Punt
and would therefore place
Punt in America.
“According to the tales of
the life of Ramses IV in the
Harris Papyrus kept in the
British Library, the pharaoh
Ramses III sent an expedition
of 10,000 men to Punt
in 1180 B.C. The last expedition
that we know of,
which set off at around the
middle of the second century
B.C., was arranged with
the help of traders and bankers
from Massilia, our modern-
day Marseilles (Hans
Philip: article on “Massilia”
in Pauly’s Real-Encylopädie
der classichen Altertumswissenschaft/
XIV/2, Stuttgart,
Druckenmüller,1930).
“The Egyptian ships built for ocean going
were about thirty meters long and up
to eighty-five tons in capacity. Under favorable
weather conditions, their flat
bottoms enabled them to sail at great
speed. When the wind dropped, the oarsmen
would take over the job of propelling
the vessel, so that the voyage could
continue without having to wait for a
change of wind.
“Egyptian scholars do not agree on the
location of the Land of Punt. Some of
them suggest Eritrea, others Somalia,
Zimbabwe, Hadhramaut, or India. However,
all these places are far too close to
the Red Sea to justify the length of the
voyage; three years according to all the
relevant Egyptian records.
Paul Gallez: Punt Is in Peru
“In his article ‘Trois thèses de predecouverte
de l’Amerique du Sud par le
Pacifique’ (Gesnerus 33 , 1976, Aarau,
Zurich), Paul Gallez offers a new interpretation.
He locates the Land of Punt in
South America, probably, in the Puno
region of Peru, on the shores of Lake Titicaca.
70% of Peru’s annual gold pro-
duction comes from there, together
with antimony, mercury, zinc, tin, and
cobalt. Old gold and antimony mines
can be found in the area, though
archaeologists disagree as to their exact
age. The boats used to sail on Lake
Titicaca, made of cat-tail (a longstemmed,
reed-like, grassy plant of the
Typhaceous family with a cylindrical
ear) are so similar to those used in ancient
Egypt that Thor Heyerdahl went to
Puno to recruit workers to build him his
papyrus boat Ra II on the banks of the
Nile.”
Report Spam   Logged

An open-minded view of the past allows for an unprejudiced glimpse into the future.

Logic rules.

"Intellectual brilliance is no guarantee against being dead wrong."
Qoais
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3423



« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2009, 01:41:17 am »

...continued

Astrogation
We need not be surprised at all this
since as long ago as the 19th Century
B.C., Pharaoh Senusret II built a canal
that connected the river Nile to the Red
Sea, a canal which has survived until the
present day as an irrigation canal.
Herodotus tells us that the pharaoh
Necho II (circa 600 B.C.) sent out a fleet
which took three years to circumnavigate
Africa (clockwise).
There is much other evidence of Egyptian
voyages to the Americas, as 21st
Century has reported in previous issues.

In 232 B.C., Captain Rata and Navigator
Maui set out with a flotilla of ships from
Egypt in an attempt to circumnavigate
the Earth. The Maui expedition was under
the guidance of Eratosthenes, the
great scientist who was also the chief librarian
of the library at Alexandria.
This expedition left cave drawings discovered
in modern times, showing one
of the navigational instruments, a tanawa
(or torquetum as it later became known)
which Maui had brought with him, along
with an inscription deciphered in the
1970s by epigrapher Barry Fell: “The
Earth is tilted. Therefore, the signs of half
of the ecliptic watch over the south, the
other (half) rise in the ascendant. This is
the calculator of Maui.”
At that time, Eratosthenes had just
measured the polar circumference of
the Earth. Finding your latitude is easy,
but finding your longitude, and the cir-
cumference of the Earth near the equator,
as a function of your latitude and the
equatorial circumference, is difficult.
We know that Maui was thinking about
this, because his cave drawings also
include a proof of Eratosthenes’ experiment
to measure the Earth’s circumference.
Our hypothesis is that the torquetum
was used to determine longitude and
the equatorial circumference of the
Earth using lunar distances. To do that
job, the navigator would have to carry
with him an almanac that gave the lunar
distances from prominent places for
each relevant night of the year, for about
19 years.

...con'td
Report Spam   Logged

An open-minded view of the past allows for an unprejudiced glimpse into the future.

Logic rules.

"Intellectual brilliance is no guarantee against being dead wrong."
Qoais
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3423



« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2009, 01:48:03 am »

Ancient Observatories
We have no proof yet that those almanacs
existed, but we do know that the
data required could be provided by a
conceptual use of the Great Pyramid in
Egypt and the Stonehenge, built so close
to each other in time (2450 and 2300
B.C. respectively), and of some of the
South American pyramids built in the
same rough time frame. Imagine the little
lines representing the half degrees on
the edge of the torquetum’s equatorial
circle as all representing huge vertical
posts or stones.
The torquetum could also be used to
gather data sufficient to predict eclipses,
which are a relatively easy way to find
your relative longitude (unfortunately,
they are very infrequent). All you have to
have is a relatively precise local time of
observation of the eclipse at two points,
east and west of each other.
The most famous example of finding
relative longitude is the eclipse which
took place during the battle of Arbela (in
ancient Assyria), Sept. 20, 331 B.C., recorded
at both Arbela and Carthage (Tunisia)—
at the “fifth hour” at Arbela and
the “second hour” at Carthage, which
would put Carthage at the approximately
correct 45 degrees west of Arbela.
Now, if you can predict eclipses, you
can send out expeditions to observe them
and kindred events as we have done
many times in the last 500 years. Kepler’s
Rudolphine tables predicted the transit of
Mercury for Nov. 7, 1631, and he encouraged
observers to be on the lookout
for it. Because of the bad weather, only
three people saw it, but that was the first
time in human history.
Captain Cook’s long trip to the South
Seas (1769) to observe the transit of Venus
is another case in point. These events
can be used to determine longitude, and
to evaluate various methods used to determine
longitude; and also measure the
absolute distance of the planets from the
Sun.
So do not look around the corner for
the land of Punt; it might be halfway
around the world. Man, as Lyndon La-
Rouche keeps reminding us, and as his
Youth Movement has demonstrated, is
not a monkey.

http://www.21stcenturysciencetech.com/Articles_2009/Where_Punt_sp09.pdf
« Last Edit: October 12, 2009, 01:49:35 am by Qoais » Report Spam   Logged

An open-minded view of the past allows for an unprejudiced glimpse into the future.

Logic rules.

"Intellectual brilliance is no guarantee against being dead wrong."
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal
Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
SMF For Free - Create your own Forum
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines
Privacy Policy