Ep. 005 – Meanwhile, In Egypt…

Thanks for tuning in to this fifth episode of the Maritime History Podcast, our first episode to zoom in on ancient Egypt. In this episode we'll focus mainly on the predynastic depictions of papyrus boats, wooden boats, the earliest depictions of the sail, and several rock petroglyphs that are quite significant to historical interpretations. Then, we'll consider a theory that has connected ancient Egypt with ancient Mesopotamia. We'll conclude by looking at a magnificent discovery at Abydos where some of the oldest wooden planked boats to have ever been found were buried in their own graves in the Egyptian desert. It's a great episode, and it's only scratching the surface of what we'll encounter as we consider maritime history in ancient Egypt.

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  • Breasted, James Henry, The Earliest Boats on the Nile, The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, Vol. 4, No. 2/3 (Apr.  – Jul., 1917), pp. 174–176.
  • Dagger from Gebel el-Arak, Predynastic Egypt, Louvre. [link]
  • Decorated vase, Predynastic Egypt, Brooklyn Museum. [link]
  • Decorated Ware Jar Depicting Ungulates and Boats with Human Figures, Predynastic Egypt, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. [link]
  • Herodotus, The Histories, (Macaulay's English translation, republished 2004).
  • Jar with boat designs, Predynastic Egypt, Brooklyn Museum. [link]
  • McGrail, Seán, Boats of the World: From the Stone Age to Medieval Times (2009).
  • New York University, After 5,000 Year Voyage, World's Oldest Built Boats Deliver -- Archaeologists' First Look Confirms Existence Of Earliest Royal Boats At Abydos, ScienceDaily, 2 November 2000. [link]
  • Qustul Incense Burner, Nubia, The Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago. [link]
  • Sailing ship jar, Naqada II, Egypt, The British Museum. [link]
  • Storemyr, Per, The Palaeolithic rock art in Wadi Abu Subeira, Egypt: Landscape, archaeology, threats and conservation, Per Storemyr Archaeology & Conservation, 1 May 2012. [link]
  • Vinson, Steve, Boats (Use of), UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology, Los Angeles (2013).
  • Ward, Cheryl, Boat-building and its social context in early Egypt: interpretations from the First Dynasty boat-grave cemetery at Abydos, Antiquity, Vol. 80 (2006), pp. 118–129. [link]
  • Wilford, John Noble, Early Pharaohs' Ghostly Fleet; Archaeologists Excavate Boats That Carried Kings to the Afterlife, N.Y. Times (Oct. 31, 2000). [link]

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