Model of a funerary boat

Egyptian
Middle Kingdom, late Dynasty 11 – early Dynasty
2010–1961 B.C.


Findspot: Egypt, Deir el-Bersha, Tomb 10, shaft A (Djehutynakht)

Dimensions

Length x width x height: 72 x 27 x 32 cm (28 3/8 x 10 5/8 x 12 5/8 in.)

Accession Number

21.829

Medium or Technique

Wood

On View

Stanford and Norma Jean Calderwood Gallery (Gallery 119)

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Models

This wooden tomb model depicts a papyriform boat (i.e. made of bundled papyrus) with a crew of eight male figures. The boat’s ornamental bow and stern are topped with rosettes that likely represent papyrus clusters. The stern component is carved from a separate piece of wood. Each figure is painted reddish-brown and wears a white kilt and short, black wig. They also have black and white detailing on their eyes. The crew is comprised of six seated/kneeling rowers, a man standing at the prow as lookout, and a seated helmsman. There is also a funerary bier intended for a mummy. This is attached to the deck via small pegs. It is painted white with a canopy attached. The lookout figure stands in the prow in a striding pose with left leg and right arm advanced. The hands of the rowers are not modelled in detail, but have been pierced for the insertion of model oars. All figures’ arms are carved as separate components from the body and attached at the shoulders by small pegs. The boat itself is both plastered and painted. Remnants of white appear on the sides, and the bow is decorated with a black-painted wadjet-eye. The top surface is painted white with red line detials to indicate various sections and beams of the deck.

Provenance

From Deir el-Bersha, tomb 10, shaft A (tomb of Djehutynakht). May 1915: excavated by the Harvard University–Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; assigned to the MFA in the division of finds by the government of Egypt. (Accession Date: March 1, 1921)

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition