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Boats of Egypt Before the Old Kingdom

Stephen Vinson
Thesis: August 1987
Chair: Bass
Nautical Archaeology Program

The origin and early development of planked boats in Pre- and Early Dynastic Egypt is explored through an examination of representational art, the Predynastic environment, the development of tools and woodworking and direct archaeological evidence for early boats, including boat burials and surviving fragments. The use and range of early boats are examined through the archaeological evidence for trade within and beyond the Nile Valley. It is argued that the development of nautical technology in the Nile valley was independent of external influences such as "Mesopotamian invaders," and that boatwrights of the Early Dynastic period used essentially the same techniques as their Old Kingdom counterparts. It is concluded that the Graeco-Roman practice of building ships with mortise-and-tenon joints was derived from techniques perfected in prehistoric Egypt.

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