Model scene of weavers

Middle Kingdom, late Dynasty 11 or early Dynasty
2061–1926 B.C.

Findspot: Egypt, Deir el-Bersha, Tomb 10 (Djehutynakht), Shaft A


Height x width: 21.5 x 21.5 cm (8 7/16 x 8 7/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



This wooden model scene depicts a group of weavers. There are four figures attached to a wooden base. Three of the figures are kneeling and one is standing. They all wear white kilts and short, bag-like wigs painted black. Their skin is painted a drab yellow, suggesting they are to be taken as female. The eyes are detailed in black and white. Arms are carved as separate components from the body and are attached by pegs. The standing figure’s hands are indicated merely by holds in the forepart of the arms, in this case to hold stick-like needles for weaving flax fibers that would likely be supplied by the kneeling figure immediately behind her into thread. Figures are attached to the base by thin pegs. The rear figures likely work at a loom, which was probably included in the scene and attached to the base by some or all of the remaining two pegs and one empty hole in the base.


From Deir el-Bersha, tomb of Djehutynakht, tomb 10, shaft A. 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