Wooden sheets of 1st Dynasty funerary boat found at Egypt's Abu Rawash

Nevine El-Aref , Tuesday 9 Jul 2013

French archaeological mission discovers remains of two funeral boats of King Den – dating from roughly 3000 BC – northeast of Egypt's Giza Plateau


During excavations near the Archaic-era necropolis located at Abu Rawash northeast of the Giza Plateau, a French archaeological mission from the French Institute of Oriental Archaeology in Cairo (IFAO) has unearthed wooden sheets of two funerary boats of First Dynasty King Den (dating from around 3000 BC).

The first sheet is 390 centimetres tall, while the second is 70 centimetres in height. A third 120-centimetre-tall sheet was also found, but initial studies suggest that this belonged to a first boat, discovered last year in the same area.

Mostafa Amin, secretary of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, told Ahram Online that the wooden sheets, found in very bad condition, were transported to laboratories in the planned Grand Egyptian Museum for restoration.

The IFAO started its excavation works at Abu Rawash in the early 1900s, where several archaeological complexes have since been found.

At the complex of King Djedefre, son of the Great Pyramid King Khufu, archaeologist Emile Chassinat discovered the remains of a funerary settlement, a boat pit and numerous statue fragments bearing the name of Fourth Dynasty King Djedefre.

Under the direction of Pierre Lacau, the IFAO continued its excavation work, discovering new structures to the east of the Djedefre Pyramid. However, objects bearing the names of First Dynasty Kings Aha and Den found near the pyramid suggest an earlier presence at Abu Rawash.

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