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The exclusion of animate beings from the scenes displayed on the walls of Old Kingdom burial chambers has long been understood as a means to protect the deceased from any potential harm the figures might pose. Funerary models likewise depict people and animals from everyday life, yet they were included in burial chambers for a more expansive time period. This paper raises this apparent contradiction and conducts a comparative analysis of the two artistic media in order to highlight the unique properties and role of the funerary model. It is here proposed that during a time of instability, the model offered a more practical safeguard for the tomb owner’s eternal sustenance and so it became the preferred mode of representation for the burial chamber.