Nobles' Horses that Sailed the Nile, Continued

Huy's Horses that Sailed the Nile

The earliest viceroy of Kush known to us was established during the first year of Thutmose I's reign contemporary with Paheri's early public service. Huy filled this appointment as the viceroy to Kush under Tutankhamun over a century later, with titles King's-son of Kush, Governor of the South Countries, Fan-Bearer at the Right of the King. He governed the territory from Nekhen (El Kab) on the north to Napata on the south in Nubia. 1 His tomb on the west bank of Thebes (Luxor) in an area called Qurnet Mura'i details the duties of the office, including accepting foreign tribute for the king. 2

Huy's boat with his team of horses onboard

One of the royal ships at dock. 3

In this scene from his tomb the plank ramp still connects one of the Huy expedition's large ornate royal ships to the dock. His team of horses is already onboard, standing in a covered stall on the front deck. The two horses' backs and necks rise above the stall wall allowing them a cozy view of their voyage on the Nile.

Breasted describes the rest of the scene,

"Huy leans on his staff; behind him are the members of his family; and another with sail furled, bearing a chariot and horses. On the boats approaching Huy, are four rows of officials under Huy, followed by sailors and women with tambourines. The inscriptions show that the presentation ceremonies depicted above have just been completed in the temple, and Huy is now doubtless embarking for his post." 4

Huy's boat with  the sails up and his team of horses onboard

Another of the royal ships under sail. 5

Another of Huy's boats is under way propelled by unfurled sails and rowers, as in the hieroglyph kenti, meaning to travel south, signified by an image of a boat with a sail up. (Khed, to travel north or downstream, depicts the sail down.) The pair of bay horses stands at the front of the ship in a stall whose roof is supported by a post topped by an ornamental papyrus flower.

Huy's chariot would fit easily in the large cabin. He needed ready transportation to carry out his duties when he arrived in Kush. The horses he chose to accompany him suggest the same intelligence, endurance and alertness of well bred Egyptian Arabian horses today.

v.1-11] Sailing Horses [1 | 2 | Previous ]


  1. James Henry Breasted, Ph.D., Ancient Records of Egypt, Volume II, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1906.
  2. Lise MannicheThe Tombs of the Nobles at Luxor, The American University in Cairo Press, 1988.
  3. Sketch after a photo in Ancient Egypt Edited by D.P.Silverman, Oxford University Press 1997
  4. James Henry Breasted, Ph.D., Ancient Records of Egypt, Volume II, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1906, §1039.
  5. Drawing after TLC video, the Great Egyptians, No. 4, Released February 10, 1998.

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