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: 67 x 27 x 30 cm (26 3/8 x 10 5/8 x 11 13/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



This wooden tomb model depicts a boat with a crew of eight male figures, each of which 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 helmsman at the stern. The helmsman tends to the vertical stanchion to which is attached to the steering oar. The lookout stands 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 attachment of the oars. All figures’ arms are carved as separate component from the body and attached by pegs. Both the boat and the crew are plastered and painted. The boat retains traces of white paint, and the upper surface also has red line details that inidicate various 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