Model boat containing 18 figures

Model Boat and Figures, 22nd-18th century BCE


Polychromed woodexpand_more

The William Hood Dunwoody Fundexpand_more  16.496

This boat, manned by eighteen oarsmen and equipped with a mast and a mount for the steering oar, is of the type commonly placed in the tomb of a deceased noble or government official. It faithfully represents the vessels used in daily life for fishing and for transportation on the Nile. A model boat enabled the deceased to make a pilgrimage by magical proxy to the city of Abydos, the cult center of the god Osiris. Sometimes two boats were provided, one with a mast for sailing south (against the current) and one with only oarsmen for sailing north (with the current.)

Grave-goods found in Middle Kingdom tombs have also included wooden figures of offering-bearers and other servants performing tasks intended to provide essential services and commodities to the deceased in the next world.

Model Boat and Figures
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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Model boat containing 18 figures