Science: First Soul Boat

When the "soul ship" of Pharaoh Cheops was found last year, buried at the foot of his mighty pyramid, the find was announced to the world with the greatest possible hullabaloo. This week, at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, British Egyptologist Walter Bryan Emery quietly told about finding a similar ship at least 400 years older. It dates from the First Dynasty, 5,000 years ago, when civilization was new in the valley of the Nile.

The ship was found last month, in a brick tomb of its own, near the pyramids in the necropolis at Sakkara. It is less than half...

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