The Ship Depiction in the Tomb of Nebamun: The Earliest Egyptian Ship Without a Hogging Truss

Abstract

A scene in the tomb of Nebamun has been accepted without reservation since 1904 as portraying a Syrian patient sailing to Egypt in a Syrian ship while onshore he is being sent off by Syrians standing beside Asian humped bulls hitched to Syrian chariots. An analysis of this ship’s features indicates it is an Egyptian ship. Furthermore, contemporary evidence in Egypt shows that Egyptians also had chariots, were breeding Asian humped bulls, and owned Syrian slaves. This scene can therefore be interpreted as a cured Syrian patient returning home in an Egyptian ship after being transported to the port of Thebes by Nebamun’s personal slaves in his ox-drawn chariots or carts. Such a scene of departure would enhance Nebamun’s status as a successful physician and produce a more tightly integrated subject consistent with other scenes in his tomb.

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Mark, S., (2017) “The Ship Depiction in the Tomb of Nebamun: The Earliest Egyptian Ship Without a Hogging Truss”, Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections 16(1), p.68-86.

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Samuel Mark (Texas A&M University at Galveston)

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