When Kathryn Bard reached through the small hole that opened in a hillside along Egypts Red Sea coast, her hand touched nearly 4,000 years of history.
The opening that Bard, an associate professor of archaeology at Boston University, and her teams co-leader Rodolfo Fattovich, a professor of archaeology at Italys University of Naples "LOrientale," discovered was the entrance to a large, man-made cave. Two days later at a site about 30 meters beyond this cave, the team removed sand covering the entrance to a second cave, one that held the well-preserved cedar timbers of an ancient Egyptian sea-faring vessel.
The timbers, together with limestone block-anchors, curved cedar steering oars, rigging ropes, and other items, are from ancient Egyptian ships. In addition to the nautical items in the second cave, and the two antechambers discovered to branch from it, the archaeologists found limestone tablets with hieroglyphic inscriptions that detail long-ago trade expeditions to the Red Sea region known as Punt.
Ann Marie Menting | EurekAlert!
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