The Solar Khufu Ship Museum in Egypt

  • Location of the Khufu Ship Museum
  • Discovery of the Khufu Solar Boat
  • The purpose of the Khufu Ship
Egypt is a land overflowing with ancient temples, ruins, Tombs and Historical attractions from the Era of the Ancient Egyptians. All serving as a testament to this civilizations monumental feats and ahead of their time achievements. One of the rarely mentioned Gems of Egyptian archeology is the Khufu Ship Museum otherwise known as the Solar Boat Museum. The Khufu Ship Museum is not only home to the famous Khufu ship but equally enjoys a unique location beside the Pyramid of Khufu, the biggest in size of the three Pyramids of Giza. Whilst it is a separate Museum at an additional small charge, it is well worth a visit for it’s sheer size, history and rebuilding story. So accompany us on a journey through the time as you discover the well-kept secrets of the Khufu ship & the Khufu Ship museum.


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Location of the Khufu Ship Museum

The Museum is situated in the Giza plateau more specifically near the Khufu Pyramid merely a short 30 minutes drive from central Downtown Cairo The Khufu Ship Museum lies within the entrance of the 3 Pyramids at Giza with Guides able to accompany visitors to the entrance and within if required. Although the Khufu ship museum has a select gallery of displayed items consisting of the reassembled Khufu Ship, a maquette Khufu Solar ship, photos documenting the reassembling and discovery of the Khufu ship, it still packs a punch. The construction methods and three-floor structure of the Museum allow visitors to enjoy a  full view of Khufu's solar ship from every angle.
The Solar Khufu Ship Museum in Egypt


Discovery of the Khufu Solar Boat

It might come as a surprise, but the discovery of the Khufu Ship back In 1954 was an unintended discovery. The Khufu ship is one of the two ships rediscovered by Kamal El-Mallakh and is identified as the world's oldest intact ship built for the King Pharaoh Khufu from the 4th Dynasty around 2500 BC. The solar ship was discovered in the midst of the archeological excavations performed in the Giza area during the cleaning process of the Great Pyramids. After discovering a large limestone wall and digging to the very bottom of it 42 pieces of rocks were discovered. unearthed, yet broken into thousands of pieces laid the Khufu Solar Boat. 

It was found in five pits near the great Pyramid of Khufu and painstakingly reassembled from 1200 pieces of cedar wood by chief Egyptian restorer, Ahmed Youssef Moustafa taking him fourteen years to gather the knowledge needed to adequately reconstruct the vessel to its former glory. Through traveling to boatyards of Old Cairo, El Maadi & Alexandria and observing the shipbuilders at work alongside studying the Ancient inscriptions on the tomb walls and the many smaller model ships in the tomb. It is believed that the ship was originally crafted from twelve hundred pieces of wood, originally held together by sycamore pegs and halfa-grass ropes. Serving as a centerpiece of the Khufu Ship Museum and measuring at  43.6 m (143 ft) long and 5.9 m (19.5 ft) wide the Solar ship is displayed in all its might & glory. 

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The purpose of the Khufu Ship

Vessels similar to the Khufu ship were used for several reasons throughout the history of ancient Egypt, one of which was transporting building material up and down the Nile. The exact function of the Khufu ship is unknown its falls under the general category of the “Solar Barge”. Such vessels were traditionally used for ritualistic purposes. The ancient Egyptians believed that as they ascended the resurrected king to the Falcon headed sun god, Ra. It is believed that the Khufu ship was used by the Gret late king either as a funerary Barge used to transport his embalmed body from the Memphis to his final resting place in Giza. Another theory is that it was used by Khufu as a pilgrimage ship personally used by the Great pharaoh. Both theories find credit in the fact that the ship bears signs of having been in contact or used in water. 
The Solar Khufu Ship Museum in Egypt
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