Model of a kitchen boat

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: 67 x 14 x 31 cm (26 3/8 x 5 1/2 x 12 3/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


On View

Stanford and Norma Jean Calderwood Gallery (Gallery 119)


The Ancient World



This wooden tomb model represents a kitchen boat. Four figures are attached, all painted reddish-brown with long white kilts and black wigs. One figure stands at the bow in a striding posture as lookout. The two figures behind the bowman engage in the preparation of foodstuffs, likely bread and beer. Another individual leans over a table in the act of grinding grain or shaping bread, while another works over a vat (likely for beer). Two hes-jars are situated in front of them and a cylindrical table is behind. A curved cabin is set behind them all, painted white. At the stern, a helmsman figure sits by the stanchion to man the steering oar at the stern. The boat is plastered and painted white with red lines 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