The Sculptures of Deir-El-Bahari Part III

By Admiral G.A. Ballard, published July 1920


A continuation of Admiral Ballard’s consideration of the evidence of Egyptian naval architecture to be found in the Valley of the Nile, and what it tells us about the seafarers of ancient Egypt. It is universally accepted that some vessel or vessels made the voyage to Punt on Queen Hatshepset’s account. Inscription evidence records a still earlier voyage in 2800 BC, but unaccompanied by any ship illustrations. The Red Sea coast has an evil pilotage reputation even today and the coast beyond Somaliland feels the full force of both monsoons. As a rule present day dhows and buggalas traversing the Indian Ocean from Arabia to Zanzibar or Mombassa prefer to keep in sight of land, but they will venture out to blue water if they have reason to, carrying quadrants for observing the sun as witnessed by the author in the 1880’s when boarding such vessels in search of slaves. If Punt was an east African ocean port then there must have existed 4,700 years ago a race of seamen, whether Egyptian or otherwise, who were more than mere coasters, and sailed in ships properly designed for deep water voyages.

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Filed under: Prehistory | Antiquity | Indian Ocean | Internal Waterways | Other (location)
Subjects include: Archaeology | Art & Music | Science & Exploration

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