Archaeologists in Egypt believe they have found the earliest
surviving example of a purpose-built boat.
It is thought date to circa 3,000 BC and was found at a
royal burial site.
Older, hollowed-out logs, which are thought to have been used as
canoes, have been found in Africa and Europe, but the researchers in
Egypt believe their find is the first surviving example of complex
Archaeologists know that at least a dozen ancient boats were
buried at the royal burial site at Abydos, about 450km (280 miles)
south of Cairo.
Boat for afterlife
Part of one craft has now been fully excavated by an American
team which says it is hundreds of years older than any previous
similar craft found in Egypt.
The Abydos boat is thought to be about 25 metres long and less
than a metre deep and is made of thick wooden planks lashed together
The archaeologists say the find dates to the beginnings of the
rise of Ancient Egyptian civilisation and that the boat may have
been intended for the use of a pharaoh in the afterlife.
The Ancient Egyptians believed that when a pharaoh died he would
sail down the Nile, along with the sun god Ra. Traces of yellow
pigment were found on the craft suggesting the boat was brightly
Further excavations are planned at the site this winter.