Today archaeologists began excavating a pharaonic boat hidden for 4,500 years in an underground chamber on the southern side of the Great Pyramid of Giza.
Consisting of disassembled beams and planks, the boat is one of two which were buried near the pyramid to follow the dead Khufu, also known as Cheops, in his journey into the afterlife.
The first boat, entombed in a pit sealed by 41 stone blocks, was discovered in 1954. As with the newly excavated boat, it was completely dismantled.
Made of 1,224 components and about 142 feet long, Khufu’s first ship was fully reconstructed in 1971 and the model now stands resurrected in a specially built museum near the Great Pyramid.
While evidence of a second pit near to the first one was noted already in 1954, the second boat was detected only in 1987 by an electromagnetic radar survey. Read more.