Mummy on a Boat
Human Mummy
Biographical Information
Name(s) Unidentified Male / Mummy on the Boat
Sex M
Status high
Culture Egyptian
Current Location
Catalog #

The unidentified mummy that became known as “the Mummy on the Boat” was discovered by Victor Loret in Antechamber F of KV 35, Valley of the Kings. It was laid out atop a model funerary boat rather than resting withing a coffin. Loret described the Mummy on the Boat as “a horrible sight…all black and hideous, its grimacing face turning towards…” (Loret, BIE, [Cairo], 1899. Translated by John Romer in TVK, 161.) He described a hole in the sternum and a smaller hole in the skull. The body was an unwrapped mummy that had been pillaged by tomb robbers.


An adult male with long dark hair whose bandages had been almost entirely torn off by thieves. The remaining bandages are tangled around the mummy’s abdomen and upper thighs. The left arm was broken off and the right arm was disconnected but still approximately in place. The fingers appear to have been individually wrapped.


Speculations about the identity of the mummy on the boat usually focus on two possible candidates: First is Prince Webensenu, a son of Amenhotep II another possibility is the Pharaoh Setnakhte, founder of the XXth Dynasty.
A set of shabtis and a canopic jar inscribed with Webensenu's name are evidence the prince was buried in KV 35. Convincing evidence for the reburial of Setnakhte in KV 35 also exists. A third possibility is he might have been an intrusive burial of a private individual from a period later than the last official inspection of KV 35.


On November 24, 1901, modern thieves broke into the tomb and stole the wooden funerary boat on which the Man on the Boat still rested. Howard Carter wrote that “the boat in the Antechamber had been stolen; the mummy that was upon it, was lying on the floor, and had been smashed to pieces.” (ASAE, 1902.) Nicholas Reeves and John H. Taylor note that the funerary boat was finally acquired by the Cairo Museum from a local dealer in stolen antiquities (HCBT, 63.) But Carter’s report was the last time anyone documented the mummy

Conceivably, the fragments may still exist in a box in some forgotten storage room of the Cairo Museum, awaiting rediscovery.

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