Offering table with applied decoration

Egyptian
Middle Kingdom, Dynasty 12
1991–1783 B.C.


Object Place: Egypt, Said to be from Gebelein

Dimensions

Length x width x height: 40 x 29 x 4.5 cm (15 3/4 x 11 7/16 x 1 3/4 in.)

Accession Number

03.1604

Medium or Technique

Pottery

Out on Loan

On display at Houston Museum of Natural Science, TX, May 17, 2013 – June 30, 2018

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Religious and cult objects

This is an offering table of rough red clay, fired black inside. The edges are pulled up slightly to create a raised rim. On the active surface two purpendicular grooves form a “T”-shaped furrow for libations, leading to a hole in the table’s rim for run-off. Applied clay offerings include a bound cow, a leg of beef, and two other food items.

Offering tables various materials (e.g. clay, stone) could be deposited at/in a tomb to simulate real offerings. Such model offerings were intended to magically allow an perpetual sustenance for the benefit of the deceased tomb occupant(s).

Provenance

Said to be from Gebelein. 1903: purchased for the MFA from Mohamed Mohassib, Luxor, Egypt by Albert M. Lythgoe as part of a group (03.1603-03.1604, A.P.638-A.P.639) for £3. Acquired with funds from the Emily Esther Sears Fund.
(Accession date: January 1, 1903)

Credit Line

Emily Esther Sears Fund