Tuesday, July 05, 2011

More re second solar boat

Al Ahram Weekly (Nevine El-Aref)

Khufu's second solar boat is to be exhibited at the entrance of the Giza plateau after the completion of four years of restoration, writes Nevine El-Aref

The north side of King Khufu's Great Pyramid, which dominates a Giza plateau that has been all but deserted since the January Revolution five months ago, was crowded again last Thursday as foreign and Egyptian journalists, photographers and TV crews armed with digital recorders and cameras awaited the arrival of Minister of State for Antiquities Zahi Hawass and the head of the archaeological and scientific team of Waseda University, Sakuji Yoshimura.

They were assembled to witness the lifting of the 41 blocks that have covered the pit of Khufu's second solar boat for the last 4,500 years, and the announcement of the start of the second phase of the boat's restoration project.

In a hanger built to cover the boat pit, a dozen workmen were helping Egyptian and Japanese scientists and archaeologists in white uniforms, yellow helmets and white masks to wrap the first stone block, weighing 16 tonnes, and to lift it aside so as to start uncovering Khufu's second boat.

The on-site team has developed a new technique to lift the blocks. They first inserted a chemically-treated piece of wood beneath the cover stone and then lifted it.

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