The production method of the Khufu-1 sheer planks: carving or bending?

M. Bram, Y. Me-Bar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The unassembled components of the Khufu-1 ship, dated to the mid-3rd millennium BC were found in 1954 just south of the Khufu pyramid in Egypt. It has two mid-sheer planks, one on each side: 23 m long, and a maximum of 40 cm wide and 14 cm thick. These planks were made from the cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani) imported from Lebanon, 320 Nautical Miles (600 km) away, along the eastern coast of the Mediterranean. According to scholars who studied this ship, the ship planks, which were curved in three dimensions, to fit the hull, were produced from the cedar trunk by carving, not by bending. Given that cedar wood was imported and expensive in Egypt, the choice of the carving technique was unexpected, and above all, would yield a plank weaker than one twisted and bent from a straight timber. The two production techniques (carving and bending) were compared, and it was found that bending was superior, and in fact, was demonstrated to be the actual method of shaping the planks of the Khufu-1 ship.

Original languageEnglish
JournalWood Material Science and Engineering
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • cedar
  • Cedrus libani
  • Khufu
  • Royal Ship of Cheops
  • thermo-hydro mechanical processing
  • timber bending

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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