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 12 x 31 cm (23 1/4 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 the figures are painted reddish-brown with white kilts and short, black wigs. Their eyes are detailed in black and white. Five standing figures are still attached to the boat, their ” feet” having been carved as pegs for insertion into the deck. The sixth figure is a seated helmsman which has been re-attached to the stern of the boat with a small peg. A lookout is positioned at the bow of the boat in a striding position. Four additional sailors stand in pairs near the center, facing forward as well. A remnant fragment of a stanchion for a steering oar is still in a hole at the stern of the boat near where the helmsmen is situated. The arms of all figures were carved separate from the bodies and were attached by pegs. Several are missing. Two thin dowels also included with the boat may be either spars of some type of rigging or components of the steering oar. One of these has been re-attached in the middle of the boat as a mast. The boat appears to have been painted white, which has preserved best on the upper surface. Red line details have been added, indicating 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