CAIRO – 26 May 2019: Google celebrated on Sunday, May 26 the discovery of the Khufu ship in 1954 with a Google Doodle. It is considered one of the world's oldest and largest ships.
The Khufu ship was discovered in the vessel inside the Great Pyramid of Giza 65 years ago by Egyptian archaeologist Kamal el-Mallakh after he drilled under a stone wall on the south side of the Great Pyramid.
Mallakh then uncovered a group of stone blocks covering a hole in the ground, which held a series of carefully piled cedar wood planks, ropes and other parts needed to reconstruct the ship.
Khufu was the second pharaoh of the Fourth Dynasty who ruled more than 2,500 years before Jesus was born.
The ship is also known as a solar barge because it is believed that it was placed inside Khufu’s burial chamber to use it to sail across the heavens after death with the sun God Ra.
The massive well-designed ship is 4,600 years old; it is very well built as it could still sail if launched back onto the Nile today.
However, it was a real mystery how ancient Egyptians had made their vessels, forcing restoration scientists to learn from scratch about shipbuilding.
Over a decade later, restoration experts succeeded to put together the 1,224 separate pieces into the 44-metre long boat.
The restoration process was headed by Haj Ahmed Youssef, a restorer from the Egyptian Department of Antiquities, who studied ancient Egyptian boat-making only to restore the Khufu boat . He also visited Nile shipyards before reconstruction began.
It is now shown inside the specially-built Giza Solar Boat Museum, just outside the pyramid. A second dissembled ship was also discovered inside the pyramid and reconstruction began in 2011.
Khufu was known to the Greek world as Cheops. Besides ordering to build the Great Pyramid of Giza, little information is known about his era.