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QUEEN HATSHEPSUT'S BARGE

A modern reconstruction of the barge on which Queen Hatshepsut shipped two huge obelisks down the Nile from Aswan to Karnak based on a fragmentary relief at Deir el-Bahari, c.1500 BC

Perhaps the most interesting of the papyri is that in which Wen-Amon, an official of the Temple of Amon at Karnak, describes his voyage to Byblos in order to obtain wood for building a ceremonial barge. The decline in Egyptian power by this time, around 1100BC, is indicated by the misfortunes of the poor traveller who is robbed, insulted by the Prince of Byblos, and, finally, after being blown off course to Cyprus on his return voyage, threatened with death by the local populace.

From A History of Seafaring edited by George F.Bass