Offering tray

Accession Number
Current Location
In storage
Object Type
Religious or cult object, Offering tray
First Intermediate Period to Middle Kingdom
Number of Elements
Length: 288mm | Width: 236mm | Height: 31mm

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An offering tray that has been broken in half but restored at the Wellcome Institute. The surface of the tray is spanned by a cruciform groove with a spout at one end. 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 down onto the grave (that drainage channels are evident on some trays support this assumption). The tray would thus provide food for the dead. Such trays usually date from the First Intermediate Period to the Middle Kingdom.


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:

Wellcome Number
A211515 or A211516 (assumed number)
Sotheby, Wilkinson, & Hodge: 20–24 Jan 1913, Lot 409 | J. C. Stevens. Auction and Sale Rooms: 09–10 Sep 1930, Lot 727
Auction Details
Four tables of offerings, and a complete mealing stone and roller, all pre-Dynastic Egyptian, and found at Ballas.
Previous Owners
Robert de Rustafjaell (1859–1943) | Sir Henry Solomon Wellcome (1853–1936)
Long-term loan, The Wellcome Trust (15 Feb 1971)

Last modified: 29 Nov 2021

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