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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
  • Place Found: Saqqara, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 2008-1630 B.C.E. and ca.760-656 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY XXV Dynasty
    PERIOD Middle Kingdom-Third Intermediate Period
    DIMENSIONS 20 3/4 x 16 1/2 x 1 3/4 in. (52.7 x 41.9 x 4.4 cm)  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    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. (52.7 x 41.9 x 4.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.1355E. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE overall, 37.1355E_view1_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    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 the inscription: (see card). 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 a large " " and 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. Title may be shd sm Skr and the name simply Snb.f. Condition: Good.
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