Offering table - ROM2016_15161_16


Offering table

Geography: Excavated at Armant, Egypt
Date: c. 30 BC-642 AD
Period: Roman Period
35.2 x 41.8 cm
Object number: 932.10.31
Credit Line: Gift Of Sir Robert Mond
Not on view

This t-shaped offering table was found at Armant in Upper Egypt and was used to provide offerings to the sacred cow buried at that site, the mother of the Buchis bull. Just as with humans, offerings were made to the sacred animals to aid their survival in the Afterlife. The inscriptions on the sides of the offering table read as follows: "An offering which the king gives to the great cow who bore Ra who is in the House of Atum, conssting of libations bread, wine and milk in the course of every day" and "An offering which the king gives to the great mother of the mighty bull consisting of libations, bread, beer, cattle, and fowl and incense upon the fire." Visitors to the burials could recite these prayers as well as making actual offerings of food and libations for the deceased cows.

Liquid libations could be poured into the oval depression in the top surface of the offering table in the shape of a cartouche. They may also have flowed through the channels which border the top surface of the stone and out through the spout which projects from the square table. The top surface is decorated in relief with various food offerings that may represent or substitute for actual offerings. Four rectangular offerings, possibly bread, appear to the top and bottom of the cartouche. On either side is a tall narrow jar with domed lid with water dripping out of a spout. Also depicted in relief are various loaves and fruit.

EgyptRoman World
Object History: Excavated by the Egypt Exploration Society, 1929-1931
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