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: 59 x 11 x 30 cm (23 1/4 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 with a crew of six male figures, each of which is painted reddish-brown with black wigs and white kilts. Their eyes have also been detailed with black and white. Five of the figures are in standing poses, while the sixth, a helmsman, sits/kneels at the stern in the position of manning a steering oar. This oar would originally have been attached to a stanchion that occupied the hole in visible in the stern portion of the deck, but these components are missing. A striding figure maintains a lookout position in the prow. The central four figures are arranged in two facing pairs, likely flanking the mast of the boat, which also has not survived. The boat was painted white, traces of which remain, and divisions and beams of the deck are detailed further with red lines.


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