King Khufu’s 4,600-year-old solar boat, designed to take the king to heaven, was transported up to a few kilometres to a new museum, Egypt’s Tourism and Antiquities Ministry, on 7 August.
The 20-ton, 42-meter-long vessel manufactured with cedar wood is expected to be introduced to the soon-to-launch Grand Egyptian Museum inside a metal cage operating on a remote-controlled vehicle that has been imported from Belgium.
The goal of this transportation project is to preserve and protect the oldest and largest wooden artefact in the history of humanity for future generations.
The ministry has said that the relocation of the boat had started late on 6 August and took up to 10 hours. By the early hours of the morning of the 7th morning, the boat had already settled in its place in the new home.
Commissioned by a Fourth Dynasty monarch, King Khufu, who used to rule the Old Kingdom, the solar boat is the largest and oldest wooden boat to be discovered in Egypt. Solar boats would be buried beside the royal burial chambers. This is because it was widely believed that these would transport the deceased to the afterlife.
The Grand Egyptian Museum, where the boat is at present, will be inaugurated later in 2021 after nearly two decades of intermittent construction. The museum will showcase over 100,000 artifacts when it launches.