After excavating at the desert site of Abydos, Egypt, Penn Museum archaeologists discovered the remains of a subterranean pharaonic boat burial dating back to 1850 BCE, and to the reign of Senwosret III. The funerary boat has few remaining planks, but an unusual tableau was found inside its chambers: the 21-meter long and 4-meter wide burial chamber has more than 120 pharaonic watercraft drawings carved on the white-washed plaster walls. According to the archaeologists, these drawings were a surprising and unique discovery.
Other artifacts found included more than 140 pottery vessels, all buried with their necks facing the ceremonial boat burial entrance. Penn Museum archaeologists have been excavating at the Abydos site since 1967 as part of the Pennsylvania-Yale-Institute of Fine Arts/NYU Expedition to Abydos. The team from R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates, Inc., although not involved in this project, has assisted with two other projects in Egypt.