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Relief of Offering Table

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

This relief comes originally from a Middle Kingdom tomb. It depicts a typical offering table of reeds, the hieroglyphic writing of the word for “field,” the source of food offerings. It is also stocked with an ox head, fish, bread, onions, and other food for use in the afterlife.

The inscription, carved nearly a thousand years after the relief, is evidence of reuse of the tomb. The new inscription claims the tomb for the priest inspector of fields Soker-senebef born of the lector priest Imes.
CULTURE Egyptian
MEDIUM Limestone
  • Reportedly From: Saqqara, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 2008–1630 B.C.E. and ca.760–656 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 25
    PERIOD Middle Kingdom to Third Intermediate Period
    DIMENSIONS 20 3/4 x 16 1/2 x 1 3/4 in., 32.5 lb. (52.7 x 41.9 x 4.4 cm, 14.74kg)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Limestone slab bearing, in sunk relief, a representation of food offerings placed on a table, and a column of hieroglyphs. Representations and inscription are within a rectangular area defined by incised lines. To the left of the field is an inscription. The food offerings, to the right, rest upon upright reed feathers. Six of these feathers face right; one and one-half face left. This lack of symmetry, the fact that the right side of two offerings in the field above, and the existence of a border of stone beyond the incised line on the right which cuts these objects off indicates that the object might be a sculptor's model. Resting upon the feathers are various offerings including an ox head, bread, fish, and onions. There is much fine detail in certain of the offerings, especially the ox head. The hieroglyphs are done in incised lines and plain-incised relief. The left hand edge is complete; the right and bottom edges are joints. Condition: Good.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Egyptian. Relief of Offering Table, ca. 2008–1630 B.C.E. and ca.760–656 B.C.E. Limestone, 20 3/4 x 16 1/2 x 1 3/4 in., 32.5 lb. (52.7 x 41.9 x 4.4 cm, 14.74kg). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.1355E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 37.1355E_view1_PS1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 37.1355E_view1_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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