Offering tray



Accession Number
W78
Current Location
In storage
Object Type
Religious or cult object, Offering tray
Periods
First Intermediate Period to Middle Kingdom
Material
Pottery
Provenance
Egypt, Ballas
Measurements
Length: 370mm | Width: 295mm | Depth: 60mm
Number of Elements
1
Culture
Egyptian

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Description

An offering tray from Ballas, which was broken and repaired whilst at the Wellcome Institute. Ballas was excavated by James Quibell in the 1890s. 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. 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 1930, although the object was formerly sold in 1913 as part of the collection of Robert de Rustafjaell.

Bibliography

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: https://rivista.museoegizio.it/article/ceramic-offering-trays-in-the-museo-egizio-turin-establishing-typologies-and-locating-unprovenanced-specimens/ 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.

Wellcome Number
A211517
Auction
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)
Acquisition
Long-term loan, The Wellcome Trust (15 Feb 1971)
Last modified: 29 Nov 2021

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