This rather busy model boat came from the tomb of Meketre, who lived at the tail end of the 11th Dynasty and into the beginning of the 12th Dynasty. He was a very important official, and was buried at Sheikh Abd el-Qurna (near Deir el-Bahri) around 4,000 years ago.

Like so many Egyptian tombs Meketre’s funerary goods were removed by looters before archaeologists got there, in this case in antiquity. However when Winlock excavated it for the Met his team discovered a previously unknown chamber which was full of wooden models.

This boat is one of those models, one of a pair which ensured that the deceased perpetually made the pilgrimage to Abydos for the cult procession of Osiris every year during his afterlife. This boat depicts the way home, as it once had a sail to allow him to sail back to Thebes.

The action happens after death, as the main figure underneath the canopy (who you can’t quite see) is a statue not the living Meketre. What you can see is someone presenting a leg, presumably from a calf, whilst another person holds a scroll for the ritual to be read from.

Model Boat from the Tomb of Meketre. From the tomb of Meketre (TT280), South Asasif, Thebes. Middle Kingdom, Dynasty 12, early reign of Amenemhat I, c. 1981-1975 BCE. Acc. No.: Met Museum 20.3.4

Once found the models were split between the Cairo Museum & the Met Museum (which Winlock was associated with), and this one is in the Met Museum with acc. no.: 20.3.4.

See it on my photo site:

I’ve talked about other non-boat tomb models on my blog before:

Jigsaw Puzzles:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.