Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Model Sailing Boat Transporting a Mummy

Period:
Middle Kingdom
Dynasty:
Dynasty 12
Reign:
Amenemhat II, late
Date:
ca. 1900–1885 B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt, Memphite Region, Lisht South, Mastaba B (Djehuty), South Area, between mastaba and south enclosure wall, MMA excavations, 1930–31
Medium:
Wood, paint
Dimensions:
L. 80.6 cm (31 3/4 in.); W. 21.2 cm (8 3/8 in.); H. to top of mast 54 cm (21 1/4 in.) Beam L. 23 cm (9 1/16 in.)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1932
Accession Number:
32.1.124a
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 109
A group of sailors standing by the mast hoists the sail (not preserved) for this boat which carries a mummy on a bier under a baldaquin. The mummy is tended by two women - perhaps impersonating the goddesses Isis and Nephthys - while a priest reads from a papyrus scroll. Four men sit crouched before the mast and baldaquin. Their posture is akin to the so-called "block statues" or "cube statues," well known from Middle Kingdom art. It has been argued that this posture indicates the person so represented is partaking in rituals. The steersman and another person at the side of the bier crouch in a similar position, although each of them has one arm free for action.
Excavated by the Egyptian Expedition of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Acquired by the Museum in the division of finds.

Arnold, Dorothea 2015. "Model Sailing Boat Transporting a Mummy." In Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom, edited by Adela Oppenheim, Dorothea Arnold, Dieter Arnold, and Kei Yamamoto. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 222–23, no. 159.

Oppenheim, Adela 2015. "Introduction: What Was the Middle Kingdom?." In Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom, edited by Adela Oppenheim, Dorothea Arnold, Dieter Arnold, and Kei Yamamoto. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 6.

Arnold, Dorothea 2015. "Statues in Their Settings: Encountering the Divine." In Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom, edited by Adela Oppenheim, Dorothea Arnold, Dieter Arnold, and Kei Yamamoto. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 19.

Grajetzki, Wolfram 2015. "The Pharaoh's Subjects: Court and Provinces." In Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom, edited by Adela Oppenheim, Dorothea Arnold, Dieter Arnold, and Kei Yamamoto. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 123.

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