Sailing to Punt

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The long-held belief that the Ancient Egyptians did not tend to travel long distances by sea because of poor naval technology proved fallacious last week when timbers, rigging and cedar planks were unearthed in the ancient Red Sea port of Marsa Gawasis, 23 kilometres south of Port Safaga.

The remains of seafaring vessels were found in four large, hand-hewn caves which were probably used as storage or boat houses from the Middle Kingdom to the early New Kingdom periods. Early examination revealed that each cave measured 60 square metres and had an entrance constructed of reused anchors, limestone blocks and wooden beams. Other stone anchors were located outside the entrances.

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