Cheops (ca. 2550 BCE)

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Excavated, conserved, and reassembled by the Egyptian Department of Antiquities, these are the oldest surviving hull remains in the world. The “Royal Ship of Cheops” can be seen in its own museum at Giza. See the cited references for additional documentation. The long, narrow hull has a papyriform shape and lacks a keel and keelson. Sixteen stanchions supported a longitudinal beam set just below deck level. Knuckled planking edges provided additional longitudinal strength. There were 16 single frames. There were 467 unpegged mortise-and-tenon joints. Lashing system was transverse.1


1. Richard Steffy, INA Shipdata Project, Texas A&M University.

2. Lipke, P., The Royal Ship of Cheops. BAR-S225. Greenwich (1984).

3. Lipke, P., “Retrospective on the Royal Ship of Cheops,” in S. McGrail and E. Kentley (eds.), Sewn Plank Boats, BAR-S276, Greenwich (1985).

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