a quarter of a century ago ayoung Egyptian archaeologist, clearing asite just south of the Great Pyramid at
a massive slab of limestoneto reveal a vault beneath his feet. For the
time in 4,500 years the sun's rays wereshining down on the timbers of a greatpapyriformship, built for a king and
dismantled and buried here at the height ofthe Egyptian Old Kingdom. Astonishingly
preserved, it was by far the mostancient vessel ever to come to light.
Jenkins is the first to tell the fullstory of
Ship — its discovery,
and reconstruction. She tells alsowho built it and why, how it has survivedintact for so long, and what connection it
have had with the age-old Egyptianmyth of the Sun-god, eternally journeyingacross the heavens in his Reed Float.
is also a story of modern Egyptand of one man in particular, Ahmed
Moustafa, Chief Restorer of theDepartment of Antiquities, who almostsingle-handedly put back together the
pieces of .the ship. Working with a giant
puzzle—though a puzzle without