Buchis Bull Offering Table
Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
The Buchis bull was associated with the war god Montu. Each Buchis was likely a wild bull, distinguished by its white body and black head.
The bull was mummified at its death and buried in a sandstone sarcophagus. After burial, priests made food and drink offerings to it on tables like this one.
ca. 200 B.C.E.-300 C.E.
Late Ptolemaic Period to Roman Period
4 5/8 x 13 11/16 x 17 1/4 in. (11.8 x 34.7 x 43.8 cm) (show scale)
Gift of the Egypt Exploration Society
Flat, square top, with double channel around sides running into spout. In the center, a square depression into which four miniature flights of steps lead. No inscription.
This item is not on view
Buchis Bull Offering Table, ca. 200 B.C.E.-300 C.E. Stone, 4 5/8 x 13 11/16 x 17 1/4 in. (11.8 x 34.7 x 43.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Egypt Exploration Society, 32.2088. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 32.2088_PS1.jpg)
overall, 32.2088_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
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Why is the center of this piece recessed? Are those stairs?
Those are stairs. This is an offering table made to be used after the burial of the Buchis bull. The steps symbolize a downward descent into the earth. Offerings of food would be placed in this depression for the bull to eat in the afterlife.
So awesome. Thank you!