The Tutankhamun Exhibit
Tutankhamun's tomb contained several different types of model boats, some of which were related to the funeral, some to the afterlife and some to mythical voyages. Fourteen of these craft were found in the Treasury, while still more were discovered in the Annex in a badly damaged state.
The model boat pictured here, found in the Treasury, is made of wood, part of which is covered with gesso (plaster) and then painted. The bow, stern, steering oars and throne are gilded. The terminals of both the bow and the stern are carved in the shape of papyri. Close to the bow is a painted representation of the eye of Horus. The two oars attached to vertical posts with a cross piece are the steering mechanism. In the center is a gilded chair whose shape and decorative motifs - the feather pattern and the heraldic plants of Upper and Lower Egypt - indicate that it was a throne.
Unlike many of the other model boats in the tomb, there are no cabins or windscreens for the passenger. This craft was not part of the funerary cortege nor was it like one of the ships which the pharaoh used in life. One of four similar boats, all of which apparently related to the journey of the sun god, this craft was used to convey the king on his voyage with the sun god during the twelve hours of the night. Representations of similar vessels can be seen in vignettes of funerary papyri.
Last Updated: June 9th, 2011
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