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Small offering dish/lid

Meroitic Period
270 B.C.–A.D. 320

Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), Meroe, W469 Foundation Deposit SE


Overall: 3 x 10.6 cm (1 3/16 x 4 3/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



One of five intact small offering dishes/lids found together. Common in grave, tomb, and temple contexts, small vessels such as this example are often called “offering bowls/dishes” or, because of their small size, “model bowls.” In ancient times they could be used for the presentation of offerings at a tomb or temple or as model offerings in and of themselves. Some were also employed as lids for jars with mouths of appropriate diameter. Such dishes/lids are most often made of medium to coarse grades of clay. Knife-cut or cord-cut bases are common, though rounded bases occur as well. Frequent irregularities or asymmetry in shaping reflect fast work and mass production.


From Meroe, W469 (Foundation Deposit SE). 1923: excavated by the Harvard University-Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; assigned to the MFA in the division of finds by the government of Sudan.

(Accession Date: August 16, 2006)

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition