• Technology
  • Egyptian Ships and Boats

  • Comparison Between Egyptian and Viking Ships

    Criteria Egyptian Ships Viking Ships
    ImageEgyptian ships Viking Ships
    Voyages - The slow flowing Nile was used for internal transportation and small journeys
    - Egyptian seagoing ships were inferior to those used by other peoples,
    Ingeniously constructed ships capable of handling ocean voyages across the Atlantic. Neither needed a harbor, but could land on beaches or river banks anywhere.
    Type of Ships - Small boats and sails used for daily transportation - owned by Farmers
    - Enormous cargo barges large enough to carry stone blocks from the quarries - owned by the Pharaoh
    - Solar boats which provided for the deceased Pharaoh to travel through the underworld. - i.e. the two ships of Cheops discovered next to his pyramid
    - Papyri form boats were used to transport statues of gods, but these vessels were never intended to be put in the water. The image of the god would be placed upon a golden papyri form barque studded with gems and carried to its sanctuary.
    - Faerings - Logboats, rafts and skinboats - daily use
    - Longships - These were the most versatile of the Viking ships, with a length of 30m, 6m beam, up to 60 oars, and a crew of about 70-80. These could carry up to 20 tons of supplies.
    - Knarr - A cargo vessel with a length of about 16m, a beam of 4.5m, and a hull capable of carrying 15 tons. Knarrs routinely crossed the North Atlantic carrying livestock and stores to Iceland and Greenland
    Achievements - The Egyptians were the first recorded people to use sails on their ships, they invented the sail in 3500 BC
    - Expeditions along the eastern coast of Africa during the reign of Hatshepsut
    - Master boa builders - the ships they developed represented a giant step forward in the design and capabilities of coastal and seagoing vessels.
    - Viking ships were unrivaled for centuries, until the arrival of the great gunboats and galleons
    - Expeditions to Iceland, Greenland, North America and raids in all Europe starting from 800 A.D.
    Military Role - Few Pharaohs saw the need for a strong navy, i.e. Snefru
    - Otherwise in most Military conflicts, the navy had a very limited role

    - Shipbuilding in Scandinavia contributed to the tactical superiority of the Vikings during the Middle Ages.
    - Viking ships are the only seaworthy amphibious landing vessels ever to be used by invasion forces.
    Construction - As there was very little wood available, most vessels were made of bundled papyrus reeds.
    - Cedar wood imported from Lebanon was used for Royal boats, this was much more suitable for large shipbuilding
    - The Egyptians constructed their vessels, whether small or large, without keel, and with few, very light ribs. They had no violent storms, winds ripping currents or waves; they mostly sailed the calm Nile.
    - This simple ship construction method did not require great expertise

    - Long, narrow, light wooden ships with a shallow draft designed for speed.
    - Wood was the fundamental construction material, it was used from the planks for the hull to the mast and oars.
    - The Vikings had developed the selection and cutting of wood to a fine science. They made planks by splitting huge oak trees giving them exceptional strength,
    - Curved pieces were made from trees that had grown naturally in that shape. This allowed the part to be made from a single piece of wood, cutting down the weight of the ship.
    - About 100 oak trees were used to build a longship