Model of a boat being rowed

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: 69 x 22 x 28 cm (27 3/16 x 8 11/16 x 11 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


On View

Stanford and Norma Jean Calderwood Gallery (Gallery 119)


The Ancient World



The following description reflects this object’s current condition and state of assembly, which were achieved after conservation. Photography that appears with this record may show the object prior to changes made during conservation.

This wooden boat model has six seated/kneeling male rowers holding oars, a man standing at the bow as lookout, and a helmsman at the stern. The helsman tends to the vertical stanchion to which a steering oar is attached. Both boat and figures are plastered and painted. The skin of all figures is painted reddish brown, and they all wear white kilts and black wigs. Their eyes are detailed in white and black paint. The figures’ arms are carved as separate component from the body and attached by pegs. There is no modelling of the hands, but rather small holes pierced through for attachment of the model oars. The boat retains traces of white paint, and the upper surface also has red line details that indicate various divisions and beams of the deck. The boat has a sizable crack.


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