The Byblos Ship 6: External Lacings
The ships depicted in Sahure’s grave complex have a series of external lacings that support the hull.
The lacings are very clearly depicted and seem to follow the full length of the ship at deck level (Image 1A), support the bow and stern posts (Image 1B) and hug the hull near the two ends of the hogging truss (Image 1C).
They apparently consist of two parallel ropes and a third that is weaved diagonally between the two. According to Björn Landström the two parallel ropes went through the planking like a couple of parallel seams (Image 2), while the third rope was
weaved between them to make them taught (Image 3). In the model I used hemp thread. I always prefer hemp threads (or other linen threads) due to their great strength (hemp is the strongest plant fiber) and their long life, as they do not stretch and sag with time as cotton and nylon do. To protect the thread I used microcrystalline wax, a synthetic wax that is mainly used by conservators. It is not acidic like beeswax and has much finer crystals than paraffin, making it much more flexible.