Boat model

Egyptian
Predynastic Period
Naqada II, 3650–3300 B.C.


Dimensions

Height x width x length: 11 x 16.4 x 37 cm (4 5/16 x 6 7/16 x 14 9/16 in.)

Accession Number

03.1381

Medium or Technique

Marl clay

On View

Egypt: Pre-Dynastic and Dynastic (Gallery 105A)

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Models

Made of pinkish clay and decorated on the hull with vertical lines in reddish paint, it represents a flat-bottomed boat of reeds or papyrus bundles lashed together. The tall prow and stern are now missing. Models like this one, relatively uncommon in the Predynastic Period, have been found in burials at important early cemeteries such as Naqada and Abydos. They may have been intended to transport the deceased symbolically to the afterlife, making them the precursors of the magnificent wooden boat models that came into use beginning in the Old Kingdom.


This pottery model boat was manufactures using the same technique as contemporary decorated pottery. With a hull adorned with vertical stripes, it is intended to represent a flay-bottomed boar made of reeds or papyrus lashed together. Such boat models may have been intended to transport the deceased symbolically to the afterlife, making them the precursors of the wooden boat models that later became a standard component of Egyptian burial assemblages.

Provenance

Said to be from Naqada. 1903: Purchased for the MFA at Luxor, Egypt from Mohamed Mohassib by Albert M. Lythgoe for £3. Acquired with funds from the Emily Esther Sears Fund. (Accession date: January 1, 1903)

Credit Line

Emily Esther Sears Fund