Egypt Exploration Fund [Hrsg.]
Archaeological report: comprising the work of the Egypt Exploration Fund and the progress of egyptology during the year ... — 1895-1896

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Transport of Obelisks.


each line having nine tugs and a leader, and there was a front of three
boats on the river.

The oarsmen are represented on one side only, but we must suppose
that there was the same number on each side ; it would make 32 for
each boat, and a total of 320 oarsmen for each group. Adding to this
number the reises, the officers and the steersmen, we may say that the
crew which towed the obelisks from Elephantine to Thebes was, all told,
over a thousand men.

In the lee of the barge is a canoe much smaller than the tugs, which
probably was the means of communication between the barge and the
land or the boats of the line.

f0 9 $

No. 3.

Lastly there were three boats 1 which I should call the religious escort
of the expedition. Each of them has a pavilion. One of them contains
the empty throne of the queen with a fan over it. In another boat
priests are offering frankincense and a pointed white loaf. I should
think that these offerings were made to Amon ; however, we must
remember that an obelisk is a religious monument having a symbolical
meaning, and we see that a pan of frankincense is placed upon it.
The few lines of text which have been preserved speak of tying the
cables of stem and stern, and also of the " navigation from Elephantine
as far as ... . (Thebes)."

The representation of the transport of the obelisk is unique, and
therefore particularly valuable. The above description and the plate
show how large are the gaps both in picture and text. Let us hope that
in the work of rebuilding, which will soon be undertaken, more of this
interesting exhibition of the art of navigation in ancient Egypt may be

Edouaed Naville.

1 For similar boats see Mariette, Deir el Bahari, pi. 12. Duemichen, Hist.
Inschr. II., pi. 21.
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