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Model of a boat with crew

An ancient Egyptian model of a boat with crew. The two hands of each crew are positioned to hold an object – which is presumably an oar made of organic material but has since been decayed. The arms of the crew are straight, which may suggest they were in a position to row the boat.

The ancient Egyptians heavily relied on the river Nile to trade and travel. Boats similar to this would have been a daily sight on the river Nile in ancient times. They were usually made of papyrus reed – though some boats that were intended for longer journey or for the elite members of the society may use wood as material.

This model of a boat is made of wood, gesso, and paint. Dated to Middle Kingdom, 11-12th dynasty (2055-1773 BCE), it is currently located at the National Gallery of Victoria International (180 St Kilda Road) as part of their permanent exhibition.

More information: NGV D90-1982

Further reading

Vinson, S., Egyptian Boats and Ships (Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire, UK: Shire Publications), 1994.

http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/timelines/topics/navigation.htm

Mr. Fong
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Resources for Ancient History enthusiasts, teachers, and students.

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