Ancient Egyptian sea power and the origin of maritime forces by Gregory P. Gilbert

By Gregory P. Gilbert

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The sailors who convey Ra about lightland, They shall convey Teti about lightland! 59 When noble Egyptians died their bodies went through elaborate rituals which often included a procession on their funerary boat. Such boats are often depicted in the noble tombs undertaking a pilgrimage by boat to one of the Egyptian sacred sites of Busiris or Abydos. Another common scene in noble tombs has the deceased crossing the Nile from east to west and then carried overland to the necropolis. This also represents a spiritual journey of the deceased on the path to the other world.

Military operations at home against internal regional elites, warlords or chiefs b. military operations at home against external raider/traders and defence against invader/immigrants c. constabulary operations, mostly state building – but also border protection, peacekeeping and support to counterinsurgency d. diplomatic trade protection operations. 116 The formation of the Egyptian state was characterised by military conflict between the pre-state actors, the chiefs and city-state kings who controlled their own regional centres.

It is possible that the technical modifications were incorporated into the standard design of the Egyptian river vessels after visiting Byblos and learning their techniques, but it was equally as likely that the Egyptians modified their ships themselves especially for the Byblos run. 91 As maritime communications between Egypt and Byblos had already been strong for some time before the evidence of the seagoing ship, it is most likely that the modifications were a combination of many smaller initiatives adopted by mariners from both regions.

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