Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Online: The Sailing Ship in Ancient Egypt

Antiquity (James Harnell)

The Sailing Ship in Ancient Egypt
James Harnell
MANY attempts have been made to elucidate the problems created by a critical examination of the obscure constructional methods employed by the Ancient Egyptians when building sailing craft for use on the Nile and, alternatively, at sea. None has proved entirely satisfactory. Two reasons are chiefly responsible; the first is lack of adequate knowledge on the part of most writers of the mechanical principles governing ship designing at the present day ; the other is a similar lack of any wide and intimate acquaintance with the designs followed and methods employed by peoples who retain primitive features in the construction of their sailing craft, particularly on the Nile in its upper reaches beyond the confines of Egypt. That it has been my good fortune to have had opportunities to study at first-hand the construction of sailing craft in every important quarter of the world, and, in especial, that of those in use on all sections of the Nile from its mouths to its source in Uganda, is my excuse for the present attempt to explain away some of the difficulties that have troubled or misled so many previous writers on this subject.

No comments: