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: 53 x 11 x 28 cm (20 7/8 x 4 5/16 x 11 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 wooden tomb model depicts a boat with a crew of at least ten 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 a steering oar would originally have been attached. The lookout stands in a striding pose with left leg advanced. An additional rower is also present and separate from the boat, and it is unclear if it was originally a component of this scene. Two rowers have been removed from the boat. The arms of all figures are carved as separate components of the bodies and attached to the shoulders by small pegs. Few are preserved; two have become detached from their original figures. The hands of the rowers were not modelled in detail, but have been pierced for the insertion of model oars. 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