Boat Model (Primary Title)

Unknown (Artist)

2010–1961 BC
wood coated with plaster, painted
Overall: 9 1/4 × 4 3/4 × 28 in. (23.495 × 12.065 × 71.12 cm)

Miniatures showing scenes of daily life were often placed in tombs during the Middle Kingdom. The large number of boat models reflects the Nile’s importance in Egyptian life: the river was Egypt’s main road and main source of food (fish and waterfowl).

Boats were also important in funerary rituals and myths. A burial usually included two or more boat models, at least one rigged for sailing (south, upstream on the Nile) and another for rowing (north, downstream). This model comes from the tomb of Djehuty-nakht, which contained fifty-five boat models, probably the largest group found in any Middle Kingdom tomb.

Dynasty 12
Middle Kingdom Period
Adolph D. and Wilkins C. Williams Fund
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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