Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
On View: Pre-Dynastic, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
A carver created the thin top and conical base of this offering table out of one piece of very hard stone. The base was hollowed out with a drill. Tables like this one held food or other substances as offerings to a god or a deceased person.
ca. 2800-2675 B.C.E.
Dynasty 2 (probably)
early Dynastic Period
4 13/16 x greatest diam. 14 9/16 in. (12.2 x 37 cm)
Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
Black gabbro offering table with cylindrical base. Flaring bottom and flat circular top. Hollow foot.
Condition: Small chips from rim and foot.
Offering Table, ca. 2800-2675 B.C.E. Anorthosite gneiss, 4 13/16 x greatest diam. 14 9/16 in. (12.2 x 37 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.58E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.37.58E_erg3.jpg)
. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 9/21/2007
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Is this a cake stand?
Not quite! It's an offering table from the Early Dynastic period of Ancient Egypt. This table would have been placed somewhere inside a tomb, relatives and loved ones of the deceased would have placed offering of bread, water and food here to nourish the dead
You'll see depictions of offering tables throughout Egyptian history, in wall reliefs, coffins and sculptural work! Keep an eye out as you explore for these depictions. They are usually seen piled high with offerings.