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Egyptian Merchant Ship
Egyptian Merchant Ship

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Images of cargo vessels were found in the sepulchers of the 3rd Dynasty. The vessels were moved with the help not only of oars but of a sail either. At some images of vessels from the complex of pre-dynasty period of Egypt Negada the 2nd (4 000 B. C.) one can clearly see a sail. It was a narrow square sail fastened to the two-legged removable mast. On the stern platform there were six long steering oars. The rowing oars were removable and they were used without any support as in a modern canoe. The hull was built of thoroughly elaborated acacia plates. It was flimsy and to make it more firm the ancient Egyptian shipbuilders stretched along the hull a thick rope supported by posts. The same wattled rope tightly surrounded the whole hull of the ship. Vessels of such a type had various purposes and mainly they were river ships. On their outer form they resembled ships of pre-dynasty period: they had a moon-shaped profile, more exactly an orange peel profile, with raised ends, a flat bottom, with big width and a small draught. Not less than 40% of the ship's hull height had to be dipped into the water so as it could float along the river. It is considered that in departure to the sea they took ballast. Partially the construction of such vessels is explained that in Egypt only these trees like acacia and fig-tree were grown up from which they could make only short boards. The outer keel was absent and the inner keel went from the bow to the stern with powerful cross beams - traverses at which planking boards were fastened. The planking consisted of short boards that were strengthened by pins.

 

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26.10.2007

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