bande annonce

When the Egyptians sailed on the red sea


2009, France
Original language
Running time
Directed by
Stéphane Bégoin
Written by
Stéphane Bégoin, Flore Kosinetz
Produced by
Sombrero & Co, ARTE France, NHK, NOVA Wgbh, BBC, Le Musée du Louvre

Cheryl Ward, American archaeologist and world specialist in ancient navigation, is coordinating the design and construction of a replica Egyptian ship from the time of the New Kingdom. Details for building the ship come from a bas-relief from the temple of Deir el-Bahri in Luxor.

This low relief recounts, with many details, that a fleet of five ships fitted out by Pharaoh Hatshepsut in the year 1500 BC succeeded in finding the marvellous and far-off land of Punt, from where they brought back the most extraordinary riches.

Archaeologists have never stopped wondering about this exploit. Did this expedition really take place? And if it did, where does the Land of Punt lie? How did Hatshepsut’s boats manage such a voyage? Did they travel down the Nile? Did they sail across the Red Sea? Did the Egyptians of this period possess the necessary maritime skills to travel by sea? And why did Pharaoh Hatshepsut order such an expedition?

Once the reconstruction is completed, the team intends to sail in the wake of Hatshepsut’s fleet aboard their reconstructed vessel to find the mythical land of Punt and prove that the Egyptians were a seafaring people.

This film proposes a unique explanation of this historic voyage, by following the true adventure of historians, Egyptologists and archaeologists, and will shed new light on the reign of this great Pharaoh, Queen Hatshepsut.


Selected at Pariscience 2009
See the showing : Sunday 11th October 2009 from 15h00 to 16h30