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: 58 x 11 x 30 cm (22 13/16 x 4 5/16 x 11 13/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



This wooden tomb model depicts a boat and its crew. Five of six original male figures are present. All are painted reddish-brown with white kilts and short, black wigs. Their eyes are detailed in black and white. Five standing figures are still attached to the boat. A lookout is stands at the bow. Three (of four original) rowers kneel/sit near the center. A seated helmsman is at the stern, just behind a hole in the deck that would have contained the stanchion for a steering oar. The arms of all figures were carved separate from the bodies and were attached by pegs. Several are missing. The boat appears to have been painted white, which has preserved best on the upper surface. Red line details have been added, indicating 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