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Science/Medicine : Boat of Cheops Period Found

October 26, 1987

A U.S.-Egyptian team using custom-built drills and electronic sensors has found the remains of a large cedar boat from the Cheops period buried at the foot of the Great Pyramid at Giza.

The dismantled pieces of the royal sun boat were buried in a pit 20 yards from the base of the pyramid. A camera was extended through a specially drilled hole. Probes also sampled what could be 4,500-year-old air from inside the chamber.

Another dismantled cedar boat was found in a pit near the pyramid in 1954. Several other boat pits have been found and excavated, but the 1954 excavation was the only one to contain a boat. The boats are attributed to King Khufu (also known as Cheops), who is thought to have ruled during the 4th Dynasty, about 2,500 years BC. The pyramid is generally believed to have been his tomb, although it is empty and bears no inscriptions.

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