|Early Man and the Ocean 2010
- Social significant of Ocean Voyages
Building Min of the Desert: a reconstruction of a ship of the pharaohs
Cheryl Ward, Ph.D, Director, Center for Archaeology and Anthropology
Associate Professor of History, Maritime Archaeologist, Coastal Carolina University
Discoveries of ancient Egyptian ship timbers at sites on the Red Sea coast provide a scientific foundation for the design, building, and rigging of the reconstruction Min of the Desert. The ship, whose design approximates hull technology of the first half of the second millennium BCE, is firmly situated in a context that encompasses the spectrum of indirect and direct evidence for seagoing ships.
The 20-m long, 30-ton vessel was built in Egypt in 2008 and sailed on the Red Sea in December and January of 2009. Sea trials showed it to be a stable, swift platform, with an average speed greater than 5 kn, easily capable of reaching the fabled land of Punt, source of incense, gold, and other exotic materials.