Small offering dish/lid

Napatan Period, reign of Irike–Amanote
431–405 B.C.

Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), Nuri, Pyramid 12 (Irike-Amanote), NE foundation dep.


Overall: 4.5 x 14 cm (1 3/4 x 5 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



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 in shaping indicate fast work and mass production. This example is broken with 4 fragments still present.


From Nuri, Pyramid 12 (tomb of Irike-Amanote), NE foundation deposit. Excavated by the Harvard University–Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; assigned to the MFA in the division of finds by the government of the Sudan.

(Accession Date: August 9, 2006)

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition