Japanese and Egyptian archaeologists and conservators are beginning the long process of restoring the second of two ancient ships that were buried with the Egyptian pharaoh Khufu near the Great Pyramid of Giza. The location of the 4,500-year-old boats was first discovered in 1954, but only one was excavated and restored. The first boat, now on display in the Solar Boat Museum next to the Great Pyramid, is widely considered one of the most important discoveries in Egyptian archaeology.* Last June, archaeologists raised the 41 massive limestone slabs that had entombed the second boat for more than four millennia. This past week, researchers took their first samples of the boat’s ancient wooden beams, with the aim of trying to determine the most reliable methods for conservation and restoration.