BM explore website -- Wooden model of servants preparing food
From Sedment, Egypt. 6th Dynasty, around 2200 BC
Small wooden models of servants were often placed in tombs from the end of the Old Kingdom until the Twelfth Dynasty (that is, between about 2300 and 1800 BC). These represented the household attendants and other servants of the deceased, and were supposed to act as magical substitutes for the persons they represented. Most of the models depict activities connected with the production of food, drink and other basic necessities of life. With a group of these models in his tomb, the dead man was then assured of having everything he might need during the Afterlife.
The figures in this group include a man squatting to cook meat on a spit, while another seems to be pouring a libation (a liquid offering to a god) from a jar over a small offering table.
Tooley (p.10-11): At Sedment the rock-cut tomb 274 of mry-ra-xa-St.f was found intact (Petrie 1924a, 2, LXXXI:9). During the clearing of the main shaft at a depth of 10 feet a group of wooden models were discovered ranged neatly in the south-eastern corner facing north (1924a, 2, XI:3). The most imposing statuettes were 3 of the tomb owner [...] In front of the kA-figures were 3 rough planks on which were scenes representing 3 bakers making cakes and bread (BM 55730. L.42.5 x W.17.5 cms. 1924a, 2, XI:6; Breasted 1948, 29), 3 brewers making beer mash with an offering-bearer (plate 3:1) on the same base (BM 55728. L.42.4 x W.12.1 cms. 1924a, 2, XI:5; Breasted 1948, 34) and 3 cooks preparing meats and cooking them in an oven (BM 55729. L.61 x W. 11.9 cms. 1924a, 2, XI:4; Breasted 1948, 45).
|274 - Mry-ra-xa-St.f|
|post 6th dyn|
|Ref. for dating|
|Tooley p. 11|
|British Museum , London|
|Width 17.5 cm|
|Petrie-etal-1924 , p.3, Pl. XI|
|Tooley-1989 , p. 11|
|Web Museum Record Card|
|Links to Images and Other Refs|
internal ID: 614