CAIRO: A funerary boat has been unearthed near the 4,400 year-old Abu Sir pyramids south of Giza, the antiquities ministry said in a statement Thursday.
The find was excavated during routine cleaning of an ancient mastaba (tomb of a nobleman) carried out by Czech archaeology mission.
“This is a highly unusual discovery since boats of such a size and construction were during this period reserved solely for top members of the society, who usually belonged to the royal family,” Miroslav Barta the director of the Czech mission was quoted by the AFP.
Barta suggests the 18-meter boat dates back to the end of the third or beginning of the fourth dynasty.
Solar boats in ancient Egypt were usually made of cedar wood brought from Lebanon, tour guide Magdy Abdel Mohsen told The Cairo Post.
“They were either used to transport the corpse of the Pharaoh from the east bank to the west bank of the River Nile, where the body was mummified and buried or, according to the ancient Egyptian afterlife belief, served as means to transport the pharaoh to eternity,” said Mohsen.