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A 4500-Year-Old Ship Found in an Egyptian Necropolis

Plamena M.Plamena M.

The remains of a ship were unearthed at the necropolis of the Abusir pyramids near Cairo. It most likely belonged to the keeper of the necropolis.

About 12 mi (20 km) from Cairo lies the Abusir archaeological site. It includes several pyramids, which in turn house the skeletal remains of pharaohs. They are nowhere near as massive as the Pyramids of Giza but have still sparked the fascination of archaeologists from around the world.

The discovery was made by Czech archaeologists led by Miroslav Bárta. They have come upon the relatively well preserved remains of a 59 ft (18 m) long ship. Data shows that it's 4500 years old.

The vessel sits on a foundation of stones located 40 ft (12 m) from the tomb of a noble dignitary of Ancient Egypt. Archaeologists theorize that the dignitary in the tomb was also the owner of the ancient ship. Synchronous data also confirm this, dating them to the end of the Third and beginning of the Fourth Dynasty (about 2550 BC).

A wealthy dignitary, but one who was not part of the royal family, is believed to lie within the tomb. The found ship is in very good condition because the sand covering it had preserved it from the effects of time over the centuries. Archaeologists have even found the ropes and wooden elements, which in most cases decompose first.