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