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: 63 x 13 x 32 cm (24 13/16 x 5 1/8 x 12 5/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


On View

Stanford and Norma Jean Calderwood Gallery (Gallery 119)


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 one leg advanced, while a helmsman sits/kneels at the stern manning a stanchion that is attached to the steering oar. A bowsman stands in the prow as lookout. The rear two of the four central figures reach forward, tending to the boat’s mast or 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