Serving statuette of a woman grinding grain

Old Kingdom, Dynasty 5, reign of Niuserra
2465–2323 B.C.

Findspot: Egypt, Giza


Height x length: 28.2 x 45 cm (11 1/8 x 17 11/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


On View

Egypt: Old Kingdom Funerary Arts Gallery (Gallery 105B)


The Ancient World



Woman kneeling and grinding grain.

Egyptian tombs sometimes contained small figures showing people engaged in ordinary, domestic tasks such as baking, weaving, brewing and so forth. Such statues, known as serving statues, were included in the tomb to ensure that the deceased would enjoy the benefits of the products and services represented. Additionally, servant statues communicate a great deal about Egyptian daily life. This limestone figure shows a woman grinding corn. She wears a cloth over her woman’s wig to keep the flour out of her hair. Grain waiting to be ground sits in a heap at the head of the grinding stone while the flour forms a little pile at the base.


From Giza, tomb G 2415 (serdab). Excavated by the Harvard University-Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; 1921: assigned to the MFA by the government of Egypt. (Accession Date: January 1, 1921)

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition