Wooden funerary model of a ship with its crew Middle Kingdom 2040-1640 B.C.
Boat models were popular grave gifts in the Middle Kingdom. The Egyptians believed that the boat would carry them, even after death, to Abydos, to participate in the sacred pilgrimage of Osiris. They also believed that the sun god Re himself travelled across the sky each day and through the Underworld at night in his divine barque. Ships were made of papyrus or wood. Helped by the current and the north wind, they travelled downriver with oars and upriver with sails