Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Sailing Ship in Ancient Egypt

This ship is typical of the vessels used during the reign of Pharaoh Sahure
over 4500 years ago. 5th Dynasty 2458-2446 BCE

 I will print this article out and study it, because it contains information about "peg" and "rope" built ships constructed by the ancient Egyptians - see my posts from a day or two ago about the shipwrecks discovered in Stockholm and China for relevancy.  I'm not a sea-farer - never been on a sail boat in my entire life unless catamarans in Hawaii and the Bahamas count, and never intend to go on one, at least, not in untrustworthy Lake Michigan!  But I find the subject fascinating.  How brave were those original sea-farers, to go forth like they did?  Morris West's best-selling novel of years ago, The Navigator, tells a fine tale of ancient navigators through the eyes of a modern-day navigator attempting to find a mysterious island known only in legend.  Yet today, too, we have tales of sea-farers who have survived the mighty ocean against all odds.  Just a few days ago three teenagers were rescued from a small craft whose engine had conked out and drifted far far out to sea and way off well-traveled ship routes, were quite miraculously rescued after more than 50 days adrift, when all seemed lost.

What I don't get is why Mr. Hornell, evidently writing in 1939 (judging by the photographs used and the citations noted), used language that one imagines a scholar would have used whilst holding his nose and writing in a resulting snooty tone in 1839, or perhaps 1739.  Geez.  Can't these scientific dudes write their stuff in plain English so that it is understandable???

Not replicating the article here.  It was published originally in Antiquity, and now available in pdf format.

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