Speaker of Japan’s House of Representatives Chuichi Date, the delegation accompanying him and a number of members of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have paid a recent visit to the site near the Giza pyramids, where the second solar boat of Khufu—Cheops, the builder of the great Giza Pyramid—is undergoing restoration in a Japanese-sponsored project. The Japanese delegation inspected the restoration works carried out in the project’s laboratories.
The Japanese were received by Issa Zidan, General Manager of primary restoration at the Grand Egyptian Museum and member of Khufu’s solar boat restoration team.
Zidan explained that the project was the second biggest by JICA in Egypt, the biggest being the Grand Egyptian Museum. He said the team has so far removed and restored some 860 ancient wooden pieces. Some 606 wooden pieces have been transferred to the Grand Egyptian Museum, he said.
The solar boat was the barge believed to carry the soul of the deceased into the realm of eternity. Two solar boats that belonged to King Khufu were found buried in pits at the foot of his great pyramid some 2,500 years ago. The ropes binding the wooden pieces that formed the boat had disintegrated, but the wooden components were found intact, lying close to one another. One boat, sown in the photo, was restored and reconstructed, and was placed in a museum built by the Japanese in 1985 a few metres away from where the boat was found on the southern side of the pyramid.
17 December 2017