NOVA PBS

Explore a Pharaoh's Boat

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Discovery
In 1954, Egyptian archeologist Kamal el Mallakh, acting on a hunch, dug under a stone wall on the south side of the Great Pyramid. Beneath a layer of earth mixed with wood chips, charcoal, and powdered limestone, Mallakh revealed a row of 40 limestone blocks lined up like sardines in a can. The stones covered a rectangular, rock-cut pit. Carving an exploratory hole in one of the blocks, Mallakh peered below. This photo, taken at the time, shows what he saw there: well-preserved wooden planks and oars, draped with the remains of matting and ropes and still smelling of cedar.


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