Boat Model

4. Boat Model

This wooden river boat model is not an ancient toy. It was an offering placed in an Egyptian tomb. Ancient Egyptians believed that objects, or images of objects left in tombs, followed a person into the afterlife. Wooden models of people doing all sorts of different activities were left in tombs to serve the dead. The Egyptians modeled everything from butchering animals to rowing boats. Archaeologists found more than 50 wooden boat models in the tomb of Djehutynakht, from the period dated to about 2000 BC. It is one of the largest collections found in a single tomb. We don’t know where the model exhibited here was found, although possibly it came from a tomb at Deir el-Bersha in Egypt. It was purchased in 1902 by the Museum’s founding curator, David Gordon Lyon, and appears to include parts from different models. Can you spot the fragments that don’t belong? I’ll give you hint: examine the paint color carefully.


Your next stop is #5, the partial reconstruction of a cargo ship, just to your right.