Model of a boat under sail

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: 57 x 12 x 31 cm (22 7/16 x 4 3/4 x 12 3/16 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 six male figures, all of whom are painted reddish-brown with black wigs and white kilts. Five of the six are in standing postures with left leg advanced, while a helmsman sits/kneels at the stern manning a steering oar that is attached to a stanchion inserted into a hole in the boat’s deck. A bowsman, who is missing an arm, stands in the prow as lookout. Two of the four central figures reach forwards, tending to the mast. Arms were carved as separate components and attached to the bodies of the figures via small pegs. The boat is white with red lines on the deck to indicate divisions and beams. Many areas of paint have worn away.


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