Eye of HorusWritten by Dr. Sherin ElKhawaga
Horus, represented as falcon-headed god, was an important god in Egyptian legend. The symbol representing his eye, Eye of Horus, was a powerful symbol used to protect from evil. Pronounced "udjat" by Egyptians, Eye of Horus represents a human eye with cheek markings of a falcon. The ancient Egyptian Eye of Horus or wedjat ('Whole One') is a powerful symbol of protection, and is also considered to confer wisdom, health and prosperity.The ancient Egyptians considered eye of horus as a representative of eternal renewal of kingdom from Pharaoh to pharaoh. The ancient Egyptians believed that this symbol has a very powerful and magical effect on restoring harmony to unstabilized world and restoring unrightful things. According to old myth, rivalling god Seth tore Horus' eye out. Seth was his uncle, who contended with him for Egyptian throne after he had killed and dismembered his father, Osiris. Thot, wise moon god and patron of sciences and art of writing, put it patiently back in order and healed it. As an ambiguous symbol, it describes status of regained soundness. In field of astronomy it is moon symbol absolute and refers to increasing completion of moon disk; Eye of Horus symbol was inspired by "Eye of God" and "solar falcon" that are manifested during total solar eclipses; In most different sizes and degrees of preciousness of its materials, it served as an amulet worn around neck or as a graphic motif for beautiful jewels; it decorated lunettes of coffins and sarcophagi; it was part of a suspicious picture mysteries in ornament of receptacles or other personal objects.
Ancient Egyptian BoatsWritten by Dr. Sherin ElKhawaga
Egyptians pioneered development of river craft and there were many different types built for various uses. Agricultural produce, troops, cattle, stone and funeral processions were all carried on Nile and its canals. These boats were made of bundles of bound papyrus reeds. Papyrus is different from paper because papyrus is a laminated material made from thinly cut strips from stalk of Cyprus Papyrus plant. It was believed to be first used about 4000 B.C., and became Egypt's major exports. There were many types of boats that Egyptians used. Papyrus boats were used by Egyptians. Papyrus boats were built with bundles of papyrus. They were steered with oars. Sailboats were used a lot by Egyptians. Sailboats were steered by two oars. Sailboats usually only had one square sail. Funeral boats carried dead people down river. They were used to carry dead across Nile River. The funeral boats were very elaborate. The earliest record of a ship under sail is depicted on an Egyptian pot dating back to 3200BC. These Egyptian boats were made of either native woods or conifers from Lebanon. Papyrus boats were useful for hunting or crossing short stretches of water, using a paddle or a pole. These boats were made of bundles of bound papyrus reeds, and were lashed together into a long thin hull form in style of a slight crescent. This lifted ends out of water. The bundle was made as wide as possible for stability, and an extra bundle was put on top so that cargo and crew were kept reasonable dry. ( Reed vessels like these of Ancient Egypt are till in use in Peru today.) Cedar was very important to Egyptians as a boat building material. These boats were built of relatively short blocks of timber, and were braced and secured with rope lashings very much in same style that was used in papyrus boats. This wooden model of funery boats found at Thebes, with its two pointed ends rising out of water, is a good example. All cities and towns were easily accessible by boat, and Nile provided perfect means of transport, since it was cheap and quick. The necessary water power was provided by current and wind. Officials went up and down Nile with stone for building projects or grain for kings stores, and merchants carried wares for sale. Every corner of civilized Egypt could be easily could be easily reached and Egyptian traders sailed to ports in Eastern Mediterranean and Red Sea.
Funeral boats were very elegant and took pharaoh to grave. The funeral boats were buried with pharaoh. The Egyptians only used chisels to cut boats from wood. It took them a very long time to make a boat. Khufuís boat was 141 feet long and didnot even have a nail in it. The Egyptians had a hard time making and sailing boats. There were papyrus and sailing boats too.
Building and sailing for Egyptians wasn't always easy. The Egyptians had a hard time sailing a boat. Rowing a boat was a hard job because boats were so big and heavy. It was also a hard job because oars Egyptians steered with were very heavy. Egyptians had a hard time building boats too. Making a boat was a very long and hard job because boats were big. Boats were hard to make because all Egyptians had to cut wood with was a chisel. Sailing was easy too. Sails just carried Egyptians which ever way wind was blowing. Which is up Nile River, against current. In pyramid of King Khufu, worlds oldest boat was found. It's 1200 pieces were found stored unassembled, with matching hieratic signs, (which were a written version of hieroglyphics). These hieratic signs indicated to which quarter of boat parts belonged. Khufu's barge measured 150 feet from long beam to stern. Different theories arose and to intended use of boat. Was it for Khufu's use in afterlife? Or as some believe , was it part of funeral cortege , which may have carried his body from Memphis to Giza. vThe boat's 1,224 separate components included cedarwood planking and oars, ropes of halfa grass, wooden dowels and battens, and copper staples. Its near-perfect preservation allowed conservators to reconstruct 144-foot-long craft, which is now housed in a white museum built over pit where it was found. Modern ropes were used to lash it together, but its timbers are 95 percent original. The Abydos ships. In 1991 in desert near temple of Khentyamentiu, archaeologists uncovered remains of 14 ships dating back to early first dynasty (2950-2775 BC), possibly associated with King Aha, first ruler of that dynasty. These 75 foot long ships are buried side by side and have wooden hulls, rough stone boulders which were used as anchors, and "sewn" wooden planks. Also found within their desert graves were remains of woven straps that joined planks, as well as reed bundles that were used to seal seams between planks. The Abydos ships have honor of being world’s oldest planked boats. The ancient Egyptians were creating ships with technological skills far beyond their time, well before invention of wheel. Egyptologists suspect that simple light rafts made from bundled papyrus reeds may have been made by hunter-gatherers who moved to Nile Valley during Upper Paleolithic period; of course, no specimens remain today. However, there is evidence of presence of boats in Naqada II culture, which immediately preceded dynastic period. Archaeologists have unearthed red painted pottery with designs that include boat motifs as important symbols, and some interpretations stress boats were used in a religious or ritual capacity. Further evidence for early use of boats lies in tomb reliefs (ship building scenes were among most popular motifs in tombs), paintings, and model boats dating from predynastic times through New Kingdom. Papyrus rafts appeared to gain a somewhat sacred significance as far back as first dynasty because of their association with sun god. The earliest depictions of sun god show him travelling on a reed float made of bound papyrus, a portrayal so ancient that it predated Egyptian knowledge of wooden ships. It is because of this connection with sun god that papyrus raft gained its religious significance, and even though it was used for more practical purposes in Egyptian civilization, sacred and royal association stuck.