Egyptian and Japanese scientists and Egyptologists unearthed on Wednesday a piece of wood containing metal they believe was part of an ancient boat belonging to Pharaoh Kufu.
Egyptologists believe the metal parts, which have never been seen before in an ancient Egyptian boat, were used as a buffer to reduce damage to the oars during sailing.
The boat is one of two buried next to the Pharaoh Khufu in what appeared to be a religious custom to carry him in the afterlife.
The boat was originally found in 1954 along with another ship, which was restored and is regarded as one of the most significant discoveries on the Giza plateau for its age, size and condition.
Experts say the ships are the oldest surviving vessels from antiquity.
The second boat is thought to be smaller than its sister ship, which is about 140 feet long.
Both boats were made from Lebanese cedar and Egyptian acacia trees.
In 2009, a Japanese scientific and archaeological team from Waseda University headed by Sakuji Yoshimura offered to remove the boat from the pit, restore and reassemble it and put it on show to the public.
After receiving a $10 million U.S. grant from Waseda University, Egyptian and Japanese scientists in 2008 began preparing for the ship’s excavation process, conducting environmental surveys and building a temperature and humidity controlled structure around the site.