Offering tray

Accession Number
Current Location
In storage
Object Type
Religious or cult object, Offering tray
First Intermediate Period to Middle Kingdom
Egypt, Naqada
Length: 345mm | Width: 320mm | Depth: 64mm
Number of Elements

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A red pottery offering tray, possibly from Naqada. It was broken and repaired whilst at the Wellcome Institute. Trays such as these were placed above the grave of the deceased. It is thought that water would be poured over the tray and a 'spell' recited. The water then would trickle over the pottery food on the tray and then down onto the grave. Drainage channels are evident on some trays supporting this assumption. The tray would thus provide food for the dead. Such trays usually date from the First Intermediate Period to the Middle Kingdom. It was purchased by Wellcome in 1916, although formerly sold in 1913 as part of the collection of Robert de Rustafjaell.


Kilian, Andrea 2012. Pottery offering trays: general observations and new material from Asyut. In Kahl, Jochem, Mahmoud El- Khadragy, Ursula Verhoeven, and Andrea Kilian (eds), Seven seasons at Asyut: first results of the Egyptian-German cooperation in archaeological fieldwork. Proceedings of an international conference at the University of Sohag, 10th–11th of October, 2009, 105–118. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Mi, Filippo 2020. Ceramic Offering Trays in the Museo Egizio, Turin: Establishing Typologies and Locating Unprovenanced Specimen, Rivista del Museo Egizio 4, 91–121. Available at: Petrie, W. M. Flinders and J. E. Quibell 1896. Naqada and Ballas: 1895. British School of Archaeology in Egypt and Egyptian Research Account [1] (1st year). London: Bernard Quaritch.