Egyptian Pharaoh Sails Red Sea - Egypt Vacation
Modern Day remake of Egyptian Ship
Female Pharaoh journies to distant land
Whilst up late a few evenings ago compiling a recent hub, I came across a TV show on BBC Four which couldn't help but grab my attention. As you can tell from some of my other educational hubs, I am particularly interested in the ancient civilizations, none more particular than Ancient Egypt. I have many books covering the various temples such as Abu Simbel and Karnak, but this documentary was particularly grasping because it is a completely new investigation into how our earlier predecessors lived and achieved so much without the modern tools we have today. The show was called 'The Pharaoh who conquered the sea' and covers the journey depicted on a bas-relief in the temple at Luxor of Queen Hatshepsut bringing back treasures from the distant land of Punt.
Archaeologist Cheryl Ward takes on the challenge of recreating the voyage taken by Hatshepsut's fleets using recent finds to design the ships replica and employing contemporary Arab ship builders to employ the techniques passed on from generations of the family trade. However after examining other historical Egyptian boat findings, it is discovered that the technique used by the ancient ship builders was a Mortise and Tenon one, also strips of wood for the ship were constructed in an almost jigsaw pattern.
As I mentioned earlier, the documentary was particularly exciting to me because whilst watching you feel as though you are actually there with the ancients, I can't imagine the feeling of the crew whilst sailing the replica, it is a human experience in which the Egyptians would have overcome harsh winds, and relatively rough waves at times. The experiment, contrary to widespread belief proves the Egyptians did indeed possess the equipment, science and experience to undertake long expeditions at sea. There is some debate to where the distant land of Punt was actually located but the mainstream view points to the likely location being the south-east coast of Egypt known as the 'Horn of Africa' other scholars point to numerous ancient scriptures describing Punt(also called Pwenet) as being in Arabia.
Despite the Replica ship handling weather conditions with few or very little set-backs, the crew decided to cut the journey short without proceeding the full distance in search of of a possible location for Punt, this was due to concerns that the vessel may be hi-jacked by Somalian pirates.
I thoroughly enjoyed the documentary and would recommend it to any 'Ancient History' enthusiast, measuring up at 59 mins in length it is not an overly long film and doesn't wonder off topic very often. It entertains with reenactments of the Queen Hapshetsut's joyful reception when the fleet return bearing gifts of gold, aromatic resins, African Blackwood, ebony, ivory and wild animals.
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