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: 61 x 12 x 31 cm (24 x 4 3/4 x 12 3/16 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, all of whom are painted reddish-brown with black wigs and white kilts. Five of the six are in striding postures with one leg advanced, while a helmsman sits/kneels at the stern manning a steering oar (not present) attached to a stanchion (present) in a hole in the boat’s deck. Three of the striding figures stand at the prow. Two other figures reach forward, tending to the boat’s preserved mast or a sail. The “feet” of the standing figures have been carved as pegs for insertion into the deck. Arms were carved as separate components and attached to the bodies of the figures via small pegs. The boat is painted white with red lines on the deck to indicate divisions and beams.


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