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The Cairo Dahshur Boats

Pearce Paul Creasman
Thesis:  December 2005
Chair:  Pulak

   Excavations conducted in A.D. 1894 and 1895 by French archaeologist Jean- Jacques de Morgan at the funerary complex of the ancient Egyptian Middle Kingdom pharaoh Senwosret III on the plain of Dahshur revealed some unparalleled finds which included five or six small boats. These boats provide a unique opportunity in nautical archaeology to study contemporaneous hulls. Today, only four of the "Dahshur boats" can be located with certainty; two are in the United States, one in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh and one in the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. The remaining two are on display in The Egyptian Museum, Cairo. Since their excavation these boats remained relatively inconspicuous until the mid-1980s when a study of the two hulls in the United States was conducted. However, the two boats in Cairo remained largely unpublished. This thesis combines personal observation and recording of the Cairo boats over two summers to reveal more unique characteristics of the hulls and will facilitate a future study of the group as a whole. Each boat is discussed individually and is further divided into its major components by order of construction.