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: 56 x 9 x 13 cm (22 1/16 x 3 9/16 x 5 1/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



Hull of a transport boat. The wrong field number, 15-5-427, is written on it in two places.

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 items is comprised of pieces from a wooden tomb model of a boat crewmen. The eight figures would originally have been attached with pegs, as indicated by some remnant pegs in the boat’s deck and holes in the bases of the figures. The figures are rather schematically carved men with skin painted a reddish-brown and wearing black wigs and white kilts. Their eyes have been detailed with black and white. They have generally cylindrical bodies with arms carved separately and attached at the shoulders with small pegs.

The figures have been re-attached so that there is a striding figure at the bow, a helmsman kneeling at the stern to steer. The six remaining figures are in similar kneeling/seated postures indicative of rowers. They have been re-attached between the helmsman and the lookout in three rows of two, all facing the stern. Four figures are missing their arms, and two others have only one remaining. The boat still caries remnants of white plaster/paint.


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