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: 48 x 11 x 12 cm (18 7/8 x 4 5/16 x 4 3/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


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 set of objects comprises a wooden tomb model of a boat and its crew. Five (of a likely six original) male figures have been re-attached to the boat. Each figure is painted reddish-brown and clothed in a short kilt, painted white with a black wig. The eyes are detailed with black and white. The figure represented in a striding pose has been positioned at the prow of the boat as lookout. His “feet” are carved as pegs for insertion into the two holes visible in the boat’s deck. The four other figures are depicted in seated/kneeling position as rowers. They have been placed on the central area of the boat, attached to the deck via small pegs, portions of which remain attached to two of them. Likely missing from the scene is an additional seated figure that would have been situated at the boat’s stern to tend to a steering oar affixed to the deck by a stanchion, part of which is still visible in a hold in the stern deck area. The arms of the figures are caved as separate components and articulated with the body at the shoulders. Only two of the rowers still have both arms, while two other figures have none. The striding man’s right arm is intact, but only a fragment of the left remains. The boat is plastered and painted white, with red line detialing on the deck to indicate divisions and beams.


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