Offering table with applied decoration

Middle Kingdom, Dynasty 12
1991–1783 B.C.

Object Place: Egypt, Said to be from Gebelein


Length x width x height: 40 x 29 x 4.5 cm (15 3/4 x 11 7/16 x 1 3/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Out on Loan

On display at Houston Museum of Natural Science, TX, May 17, 2013 – June 30, 2018


The Ancient World


Religious and cult objects

This is an offering table of rough red clay, fired black inside. The edges are pulled up slightly to create a raised rim. On the active surface two purpendicular grooves form a “T”-shaped furrow for libations, leading to a hole in the table’s rim for run-off. Applied clay offerings include a bound cow, a leg of beef, and two other food items.

Offering tables various materials (e.g. clay, stone) could be deposited at/in a tomb to simulate real offerings. Such model offerings were intended to magically allow an perpetual sustenance for the benefit of the deceased tomb occupant(s).


Said to be from Gebelein. 1903: purchased for the MFA from Mohamed Mohassib, Luxor, Egypt by Albert M. Lythgoe as part of a group (03.1603-03.1604, A.P.638-A.P.639) for £3. Acquired with funds from the Emily Esther Sears Fund.
(Accession date: January 1, 1903)

Credit Line

Emily Esther Sears Fund