solar boat

Timbers from Khufu’s second solar boat discovered

During restoration work carried out in the pit of the Pharaoh Khufu’s second solar boat on the Giza Plateau, restorers have stumbled upon what are believed to be the floors of the shrine of the captain’s boat, supervisors said this week.

“This is a great step forward in the conservation of Khufu’s second boat,” said Eissa Zidan, supervisor of the restoration work, adding that 700 timbers had been removed from the boat pit located beside the Great Pyramid of Khufu at Giza.

Beams from the captain’s shrine are the latest items to be removed and others are still inside the pit. 

The beams were in poor condition and the team had carried out preliminary restoration work in situ before transporting them to the Grand Egyptian Museum where they would be comprehensively restored before being exhibited, Zidan said. Read more.


Ray Manzarek

“We’re going to take a little ride on the Solar Boat
Bring your scepter, bring your thunderbolt
We’ll see the eye in the canopy, the Morning star
The edge of the void, it’s not too far
We’ll see the source of the Nile, which is in Tibet
And maybe, we’ll see the Shanghai Express”

The Khufu ship which was buried within Khufu’s Pyramid Complex, Giza, Egypt. Dates to about 2650 BC.

The great surviving masterpiece of Old Kingdom shipbuilding is the funerary boat of Khufu, the builder of the Great Pyramid at Giza. […] The Khufu boat was found in a sealed pit next to the Great Pyramid at Giza. Originally there were five boats buried next to the pyramid, of which all but two had been removed in antiquity. The ship is built primarily of cedar, which must have been imported from Syria-Palestine. 

[…] The function of the vessel is still controversial. Some believe that is was a ‘solar’ boat, intended to take the dead king on journeys through the heaven with the sun. Others see it simply as the vessel which ferried the king from his residence to the tomb on his funeral day. Others would argue that it was a official vessel that had been used by the Pharaoh on ceremonial occasions. It is impossible to say whether any of the proposed uses would preclude any of the others -in other words, all these theories could be correct. Clearly these fine dimensions would rule out any possibility that it was anything other than a ceremonial vessel of some sort.

-Steve Vinson, Egyptian Boats and Ships.

Courtesy & currently located at the The Khufu Boat Museum at the Giza pyramid complex. Photo taken by kairoinfo4u.

Beams of Khufu's second solar boat transported to Egyptian Museum

An Egyptian-Japanese archaeological team has removed Tuesday a collection of 12 wooden beams from the pit of Khufu’s second solar boat in order to send them to the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) on the Giza Plateau for restoration.

Eissa Zidan, restoration director at the GEM, told Ahram Online that over the next two days the team is scheduling to remove a collection of 30 wooden beams from the pit. Before its transportation to the GEM, these beams would be subjected in situ to preliminary restoration work and documentation via 3D scans.

Zidan explains that presently a collection of 685 wooden beams have been removed from the pit; 645 of the beams have been preliminarily restored in situ, and 389 of them have been transported to the GEM. Read more.

Solar Boat Expedition Around the Globe

The PlanetSolar team intends to be the first to circumnavigate the globe in a solar boat, i.e. one driven by a silent, pollution-free electrical engine powered exclusively by solar energy.

With this project, the PlanetSolar team has two objectives. Firstly, to show that current technologies aimed at improving energy efficiency are reliable and effective, and secondly to advance scientific research in the field of renewable energy.

Boats fitted out for eternity

(more on the solar boats at Giza at the link)

A large hanger has been constructed over the area surrounding the second boat pit, with a smaller hanger inside to cover the top of the boat itself. The hangers were designed to protect the wooden remains during analysis and treatment. A laser scanning survey also documented the area and the wall between the Great Pyramid and the boat pit.

“Plans are now underway to construct a temporary magazine and laboratory inside the hanger to use during the restoration process,” Hawass said. He added that the latest technological equipment would be installed, including a device to adjust the temperature and humidity vital to the preservation of the wooden boat remains.

So far five boat pits have been discovered in the pyramid complex of Khufu; three boat-shaped pits with narrow prows and sterns at the east side of the pyramid, and two on the south side that are rectangular in shape and were cut to house full-size wooden boats that had been dismantled.


Across the sky, through the sea and traversing the countryside, solar powered travel is picking up speed. Although the commercial adoption of solar planes, boats and automobiles remains years away, the milestones achieved by these sun-powered transportation vehicles are encouraging nonetheless.

Read about the recent accomplishments of solar-powered travel on SolarReviews.
This floating UFO home lets you live off-grid on the ocean
If you've ever dreamed of packing up your life and floating off towards the horizon forever - without leaving behind a super-yacht sized footprint - this little UFO pod concept might be the futuristic pad of your dreams.
By Fiona MacDonald

Designed by Italian mini yacht-maker Jet Capsule, the UFO, or Unidentified Floating Object, travels the world at a leisurely maximum speed of 6.5 km/h (4 mph or 3.5 knots), using a waterjet-propelled electric motor.

The company is looking for investors to build the first prototype - which would cost an extravagant US$800,000 - but after that, it hopes to drop the cost to a not-so-terrible US$200,000 for the two-story house. A small price to pay to wake up to a different view each day.

World's largest solar boat on Greek prehistoric mission

The world’s largest solar boat, the catamaran PlanetSolar, will embark on a Greek mission to find one of the oldest sites inhabited by man in Europe, an organiser said Monday.

Starting on August 11, a team of Swiss and Greek scientists will seek a “prehistoric countryside” in the southeastern Peloponnese peninsula, University of Geneva researcher Julien Beck told AFP.

The month-long mission, jointly organised with the Swiss school of archaeology and the Greek culture ministry, will search around the Franchthi cave in the Argolic gulf, where early Europeans lived between the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods. Read more.

Making a boat fit for a king

External image

Giza plateau was crowded on Monday as journalists, TV anchors, photographers and antiquities officials flocked to the northern side of King Khufu’s Great Pyramid to witness Japanese scientists and archaeologists taking samples from different parts of Khufu’s second solar boat, which is still buried in sand after 4,500 years. The boat’s wooden beams are to be subjected to laboratory analysis to determine the types of fungi, insects and viruses that are affecting the boat, as well as the amount of deterioration that has taken place, so that an appropriate method can be selected to restore it and place it on display beside King Khufu’s first boat, which is on display in a museum especially constructed for it on the plateau.

“This is the third phase of the five-year project to restore Khufu’s second boat,” Minister of State for Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim who told journalists. Read more.