Pharaonic Egypt   :|:   Document

Wooden model of boat with crew

ref. : en.979.2013 | 13 October 2013 | by Francis Leveque
modèle | XIXe - XVIIIe century BC
Egypte (Haute Egypte) ( Egypte )
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This boat was purchased in 1901 by the British Museum. The place of discovery is not specified but it goes back to the context of the XIIth dynasty. It is made of wood with a linen sail.

This boat has a full crew. The hull is narrow in proportion to length; ends in a curved finial forward and a straight finial aft, with a short plinth to act as stand. The form of the hull is that of a funeral barge, but the ornamental finials are wrongly placed. This was done anciently, as the painted-plaster coating shows. The maker has mistaken the bow for the stern; the ’straight’ finial should be forward on the bows, which are indicated by the oculi (’wedjat’-eyes), but he has set it in the stern, while the curved finial, which should be at the stern, is forward. The deck has been hollowed out and cambered, leaving gunwales on either side.

There is no trace of canopy, mummy, or mourners; instead we have a helmsman, a mast, and a crew of sailors in the attitude of hauling on non-existent rigging.
The Trustees of the British Museum

- Type series : Reisner Type V (form I)
- Length: 75.8 centimetres
- Width: 22.2 centimetres
- Depth: 8.9 centimetres


Bibliography :

  • S. Glanville, Catalogue of Egyptian Antiquities in the British Museum II, vol. II, Wooden Model Boats, British Museum Press, Londres , 1972, p.21