The new Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo received King Khufu’s 4,600-year-old solar boat after a 6+ mile journey, transporting it from its previous home in the Giza Plateau museum. The boat, which was discovered in 1954, is the oldest ever uncovered in the country to date and will now be displayed in Eygpt’s newest museum, which is set to open this year.
How It was Transported
The project was carried out by Sarens, a global reference for specialized transport and heavy lifting. The logistics of the project were complicated, as Sarens’ team sought to ensure the safety of the boat and prevent any damages. Workers needed to ensure that the boat was precisely positioned horizontally during the entire operation owing to its fragile structure.
The transport mission required several self propelled modular transporters (SPMTs) which were brought to Egypt from Belgium as well as an 800-ton crane to assist with the lift. In order to protect the boat from damages, the team installed a steel cage around the 141-foot long and 20-ton boat, bringing the total weight to 100 tons. Finally, the team built a 170-foot steel bridge to allow the SPMTs to drive in and park underneath the boat.
The mission was successfully completed in 10 hours, delivering the boat to its final destination, where it is expected to be one of the star attractions for tourists visiting the city.
According to archeologists, ancient Egyptians believed that solar boats were able to transport the deceased royals into the afterlife, and were typically buried alongside them in royal burial chambers. This particular boat is said to have belonged to King Khufu, a fourth dynasty monarch. Khufu’s solar boat is one of two that will eventually call the Grand Egyptian Museum its home.
Researchers assert that the solar boat is the biggest and oldest artifact made of wood in the history of humanity, and due to its significance, extremely careful planning was necessary in order to successfully rehome the boat after having been located at the Giza Plateau for decades.