Model of a pilgrimage 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: 54 x 14 x 18 cm (21 1/4 x 5 1/2 x 7 1/16 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 two male figures, both of which is painted reddish-brown with short, black wigs and white kilts. Their eyes have also been detailed with black and white. The bowsman at the prow of the boat is in a striding pose. His “feet” have been carved as pegs for insertion into holes in the boat’s deck. The helmsman is seated at the stern of the craft, manning a vertical stanchion inserted into a hole in the stern deck that is attached to a steering oar. The arm components of the figures were carved separate from the bodies and were attached by pegs. The boat also has a wooden cabin located in front of the helmsman.


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