The ship before them was a deep-hulled merchant galley.

I traveled to Egypt for research for the Eye of Isis novels, a series set in Alexandria in the time of Cleopatra.

Egyptologists recently (in pharaonic terms, anyway) disinterred the Sun Boat, which had its own tomb next to the Great Pyramid. It was meant to provide Pharaoh Khufu (aka Cheops) with transportation in the afterlife. It was found in pieces, reassembled, and now has its own museum. It is an enthralling exhibit, perhaps especially so for someone raised on and near the water.

Kheops' Sun Boat
No nails or rivets. This boat was tied together.
Duct tape. Holding things together for 4500 years.
Ahmed Yousef, the Sun Boat’s restorer. He had to figure out how all 1,224 pieces went together.
Ahmed Yousef’s tools.
A model of the Sun Boat.

The ship before them was a deep-hulled merchant galley. The top half of an improbably buxom woman carved from wood was fixed to the prow and the weight of gold leaf applied to her skin probably lowered the front half of the ship by at least two fingers. There was a large piece of anonymous equipment amidships with a tarp lashed over it. A winch, perhaps, or some other device designed to aid in the swift loading and unloading of cargo.

The galley bore a single, three-cornered sail now furled to a crosspiece fixed to the mast. Tetisheri had seen many ships rigged like this one on a journey to Punt with Uncle Neb, but this was the first time she’d seen one in the Middle Sea. — Death of an Eye, 2018

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