Materials and aspect of technology for the First Dynasty boat found at Abu Rawash in 2012

Mostafa Abd El Maguid Mohamed, Yann Tristant, Basem Gehad, Francois Briois, Mohamed Abdelrahman, Nour Mohamed, Mohamed Rageb, Abdelrahman Medhat

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Just after the excavation carried out by Ifao/Macquarie University during the summer 2012, the Early Dynastic boat found at Abu Rawash was transported to the Grand Egyptian Museum Conservation Centre, a place where it could receive the appropriate intensive care. In the special projects lab, an Egyptian-French team adopted the most modern techniques to study the ancient materials and technology used to manufacture the boat, as well as to retrieve its original shape and dimensions. The investigation of longitudinal, tangential and transverse sections of wood samples using Scanning Electron Microscope imaging allowed the identification of wood species (Acacia nilotica). Its state of degradation was assisted by means of Fourier Transform Infra-red and X-Ray Diffraction, where the crystallinity of the cellulose inside the wood was determined. Two types of plant remains were found inside the lashing holes, representing the remains of ropes or perhaps a mat. Using stereo microscope, the plant remains where identified to be papyrus (Cyperus papyrus) and esparto grass (Macrochloa tenacissima). Dating of the wood was performed using radiocarbon dating technology, at IFAO Radio Carbon dating lab, indicating that the boat probably dates back to the First dynasty, more precisely from the reign of king Den, as confirmed by the material found during the excavation of the cemetery. The importance of the boat comes first from its dating, as it is the most ancient boat preserved today in Egypt, and secondly from its technology. This poster reports some of the challenges and benefits of the ongoing research.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventInternational conference on predynastic and early dynastic studies (5th : 2014) - Cairo
Duration: 13 Apr 201418 Apr 2014


ConferenceInternational conference on predynastic and early dynastic studies (5th : 2014)


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