Model Type
cattle husbandry
Breasted: 1. Toronto, Royal Museum of Archaeology (Pl. 4a). Twelfth dynasty. One man stands directly in front of the cow. The cow's hind legs are thrown slightly forward. The calf's head, shoulders and forelegs have already emerged, with assistance of a second man, who is drawing on the forelegs as he stands well to the rear of the cow. Both men wear linen aprons and short white skirts. Colours. base, clothing and whites. of eyes, white; wig, spots on cow, and centers of eyes, black; men's flesh, reddish-brown; cow and calf, yellowish-brown. 15 Dimensions of base: Length: 47.5 cm.; width in front: 15 cm.; width in back: 17.5 cm.; thickness. 3.5 cm. Height Of cow: 18.5 cm.; height of man at head of cow: 18.7 cm. Purchased from Casira, Cairo. Unaccessioned. Said to come from Meir. Unpublished.
On ROM Images web site:
Funerary model of cow giving birth - wood. Centimetres: 47.2 (length), 21.6 (height), 17.75 (width). Early Middle Kingdom; 12th Dynasty Area of Origin: Meir ?; Egypt; Africa.
Description: This wooden tomb model dates to the Middle Kingdom (ca. 2055 -1650 BC) and, although such models are commonly placed in tombs at this time, this one is unique in its content. Middle Kingdom models depicting various aspects of daily life activities, especially food production, survive in many examples. The vignette of a cow giving birth is popular in tomb paintings from this period but this wooden model is the only three dimensional example extant. Tomb painting and models were placed in a tomb to ensure the deceased everlasting prosperity, for it was thought that both would magically come to life and work for the tomb owner in the Afterlife. Our model shows that animal husbandry was practised at this early date in ancient Egypt, with one man calming the cow while the other ensures a proper delivery.
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto
Accession number
Breasted Classification
I-2-1 PRODUCTION AND STORAGE OF FOOD - Cattle-breeding Scenes. - Birth of a calf.
Height Of cow 18.5 cm Height of man at head of cow 18.7 cm
References (Bibliography)
BreastedJnr-1948 , I-2-1 1, Pl. 4a
Museum Online Record Card
Links to Images and Other Refs


internal ID: 930