Offering table - ROM2019_17181_1


Offering table

Geography: Excavated by Sir Robert Mond at el-Qurna, west bank of Thebes
Date: c. 1985-1795 BC
Period: 12th Dynasty, Middle Kingdom
63.5 × 60 × 21 cm
Object number: 910.92.41
Not on view

During the Middle Kingdom, heavy stone offering tables and basins were sometimes placed directly onto the floor in the tombs of the elite.  Often they stood in front of a cult statue or image.  Mortuary priests and visitors to the tomb would place food offerings on the tables, and pour water or wine over them.

This large limestone offering table is a very simple one, without the carved impressions of various foodstuffs often shown, and without any inscription.  It is nevertheless a skillfully executed piece of essential tomb equipment.  The large rounded object on this offering table represents a loaf of bread or cake. The basin was to catch the fluids used both to purify the offerings and as offerings themselves. The projecting channel seen at bottom of the image was to drain these fluids.

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