Small offering dish/lid

Napatan Period, reign of unknown king
369–353 B.C.

Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), Nuri, Pyramid 1 (unknown king), NW foundation deposit


Overall: 3 x 12 cm (1 3/16 x 4 3/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World


Foundation deposits

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/dishes.” 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 Nuri, Pyramid 1, NW foundation deposit. 1918: 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 14, 2006)

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition