The Transporting of the Obelisks at Karnak Part II

By Admiral G.A. Ballard, published October 1920


Admiral Ballard continues his consideration of the methods that the ancient Egyptians must have used to move the obelisks at Karnak 140 miles along the Nile. The large vessel, the size of HMS Victory as previously described, had four large balanced rudders, like enormous paddles weighing four or five tons each, were slung in pairs on each quarter. She would have been loaded and unloaded using skid beams or planks. Too large to be propelled by oars, the vessel needed was towed by a flotilla of 30 barges using a tow rope attached to a short mast and secured forward. With 10 barges attached to 3 cables, 960 sweeps would have deployed to power the tow. Other vessels accompanied the flotilla to supervise and as a religious escort. Why, if they were capable of this task, were the oceans not crossed for another 2,000 years?

Join Today To Read The Full Article

Filed under: Antiquity | Internal Waterways
Subjects include: Shipbuilding & Design

Join Today To Read The Full Article

Join Now

If you are already a member please login here.