Jar with Boats Artist: Unknown

3500–3300 B.C.

Ancient Art

On view, 1st floor, African Art

This large jar with a rounded lip is made of a buff-colored Marl A1 clay. The exterior was burnished, and the lower portion was trimmed with a knifelike tool. The designs in red pigment are repeated on either side of the vessel and depict a shallow boat with a standard, twin cabins, and over thirty oars. The boats are surrounded by what appear to be ostrich-feather fans, linking the imagery on this vessel with that of others in the same group that have ostrich imagery. The cabins and standards, along with the elaborate decoration on the prows of the boats, are consistent with the object’s function as a ritual vessel.




8 3/4 × 8 11/16 × 5 1/8 in. (22.3 × 22 × 13.02 cm)

Credit Line

Anonymous gift

Accession Number



Naqada II (Early Gerzean Period)


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Maurice Nahman, Cairo, 1920.
  • Handbook of the Collections, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), 257, ill
  • Stephen P. Harvey, Gifts to Osiris, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1987), 17, checklist no. 58, ill
  • Gerry D. Scott, III, Ancient Egyptian Art at Yale, 1st (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1986), 32, no. 10, ill
  • Miguel de Bragança, Ancient Egypt: God, King, and Man, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale Peabody Museum, 1978), 8, fig. A
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