Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
On View: 19th Dynasty to Roman Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor
Among the most common motifs found in Egyptian tombs is the formal presentation of offerings. The complete scene to which this fragment belonged showed a row of men bringing gifts to an offering table laden with bread, meat, fowl and metal vessels probably containing wine. Of particular interest is the brace of ducks or geese suspended from a hand at the far right. The style of the faces and the elaborate design of the costumes owe much to the inspiration of the Amarna Period. The composition of the scene, however, is far more formal than similar designs executed during the reign of Akhenaten.
ca. 1323-1250 B.C.E.
late Dynasty 18 to early Dynasty 19
15 7/8 x 19 1/8 in. (40.3 x 48.5 cm) (show scale)
Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
Limestone tomb relief. At right, procession of funerary priests (two complete figures and portion of a third) bearing offerings. Priests have shaved heads and wear long, pleated skirts. At left, large mass of funerary offerings. Minute portions of lower portion of upper register preserved.
Condition: Poor. Lower left portion lost as are adjoining portions of surface. Stone slightly salty. Remains of red paint on heads and bodies of priests. Lower portion was never worked; left edge had lost worked surface from salt action.
Offering Bearers, ca. 1323-1250 B.C.E. Limestone, pigment, 15 7/8 x 19 1/8 in. (40.3 x 48.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.1505E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 37.1505E_NegA_glass_bw_SL4.jpg)
overall, 37.1505E_NegA_glass_bw_SL4.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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Can you tell me about this?
This relief came from a tomb. In ancient Egyptian afterlife beliefs, scenes like this were pretty necessary. While living in the afterlife, a person would still need to eat and drink, just like in their previous life. Burials would contain stores of food and priests would continue to make food offerings to the deceased after the funeral had ended. Scenes of offerings, particularly
food offerings, would be able to supplement or function as actual food would have. This is a fragment of what would have been a much larger scene and placed among other reliefs in the tomb. These reliefs, along with other objects like coffins, were all part of the equipment a person would need for the afterlife.