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: 6 x 15 cm (2 3/8 x 5 7/8 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 some pieces missing. There are crusty, brown, slag-like incrustations on one area.


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