Model of a boat

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

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


Length x width x height: 56 x 10 x 13 cm (22 1/16 x 3 15/16 x 5 1/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



This wooden tomb model of a boat still has one member of its crew still attached. One figure remains. The male figure is stationed at the prow of the boat in a striding posture. The rest of the crew was likely comprised of six rowers in kneeling/seated poses in the central area of the deck. A helmsman likely was also seated at the stern, tending to a steering oar that has not survived. A stanchion for the oar was once set into the deck in the hole in the stern. Though much of the paint on the male figure has worn away, remnants suggest he was a reddish-brown color with a white kilt. His short wig may have been painted black. The were separate components from the body and attached at the shoulders via small pegs. They are now missing. Part of the figure’s advanced left leg has broken off. The boat retains white paint with red detailing lines to indicate divisions and beams of the deck.


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