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105 Although Minoan cities did have some ability to assemble maritime forces and were particularly involved in Eastern Mediterranean trade, they did not have the economic power to challenge the Egyptian fleet for maritime supremacy. 106 Many of the modern sea control tasks involving operations against enemy forces were not relevant to the Ancient Egyptians. Nevertheless Ancient Egyptian military tasks did include operations in defence of Egypt, as well as a surprising number of actual naval battles.

Constabulary operations, mostly state building – but also border protection, peacekeeping and support to counterinsurgency d. diplomatic trade protection operations. 116 The formation of the Egyptian state was characterised by military conflict between the pre-state actors, the chiefs and city-state kings who controlled their own regional centres. They fought each other as raider/traders, until one predominated. The king of the regional centre at Abydos (Thinite nome) became the first king of the Egyptian state with a new centre at Memphis (near modern Cairo).

The progress of this massive cargo vessel being towed by such a flotilla of travelling boats, with 900 men rowing, would have been an amazing sight; one which, although essentially for peaceful purposes, would have been an excellent visual signifier of Ancient Egyptian sea power. 32 CHA N GI N G S H I P T E CH N O LO G I E S I N A N CI E N T E GYP T Seagoing Ships While travelling boats were ideal for use along the Nile, they were limited in their ability to navigate Egypt’s adjacent seas. Sea voyages put much higher demands upon a vessel’s strength and seaworthiness.

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