Basin with a Boat from the tomb of Tutankhamun

This alabaster boat stands on a base representing a square pool. It is considered one of the most beautiful pieces of the collection of king Tutankhamun. It was found in the annex of his tomb. The purpose of this artifact is not clear, but it was either an unguent container or a perfume holder or most probably it was a centerpiece used during celebrations and ceremonies for decoration purposes because when Howard Carter found it, it was covered with garlands of flowers. It is thought that this basin might have been filled with water to complete the image of the decorative centerpiece.

Basin with a Boat from the tomb of Tutankhamun
Basin with a Boat from the tomb of Tutankhamun

At the prow a naked girl with a curly wig, wearing earrings, armlets and bracelets, is represented seated and holding in her hand a blue lotus. At the stern, there is a dwarf standing naked and he is wearing a wig similar to the one worn by the girl. He is also wearing armlets and bracelets. When this piece was first discovered, he was holding a pole in his hand and most probably he was the helmsman who directed the boat.

From the Tomb of Tutankhamun (KV62). Valley of the Kings, West Thebes. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 62120

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