Requires Photography

Miniature/model offering jar

New Kingdom to Meroitic Period
1550 B.C.–A.D. 320

Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), Gebel Barkal, Building (Temple) B 600, room 602, sub.


Overall: 10 x 4.4 cm (3 15/16 x 1 3/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



This small jar is fashioned of a light reddish clay fabric. It has a flat, shaved base that splays outward very slightly. The sides expand very gradually before the upper body curves inward to a wide mouth with a slightly out-turned rim. Most of the upper body is broken off, some fragments remaining. These were once mended, but some have broken off once again. Only a small segment of the rim is represented by the remainig fragments. Other portions are missing.

Common in grave, tomb, and temple contexts, small vessels such as this example are often called “offering vessels” or, because of their small size, “model vessels.” 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. Such vessels are most often made of medium to coarse grades of clay.


From Nubia (Sudan) Gebel Barkal, Building (Temple) B 600, room 602, sub. 1916: 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: September 8, 2006)

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition