Pharaoh Khufu’s 4,600-year-old solar boat has been transported to the Egypt Grand Museum for exhibition.
Solar boats were buried in pits alongside royal burial chambers, believing they would transport the departed into the afterlife. Cairo’s Great Pyramid — also known as the Pyramid of Cheops — is the largest of the three Giza pyramids and houses Khufu’s tomb.
“After… crossing the streets of Giza on a smart vehicle, the first boat of King Khufu discovered in 1954 at the southern corner of the Great Pyramid has terminated its long journey to the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM),” the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities said in a statement per AFP.
The vessel took 48 hours to transport and arrived at the GEM in the early hours of Saturday.
“The aim of the transportation project is to protect and preserve the biggest and oldest organic artifact made of wood in the history of humanity for the future generations.”
Ancient Egyptians considered the journey to the afterworld to be a perilous one. A solar bark was deemed to be much-needed protection on a journey inhabited by serpents armed with long knives, fire-spitting dragons and five-headed reptiles. Once travelers arrived in the realm of the Duat (Land of the Gods), the deceased would then have to pass through seven gates, reciting a magic spell accurately at each stop.
Only then could they enter the Hall of the Two Truths known as the Judgment Before Osiris. At this point, they would recite the “Negative Confession,” and a panel would decide their fate.
Khufu ruled during the Old Kingdom of Egypt. He was the second king of the fourth dynasty and builder of the Great Pyramid at Giza.