Bread was a staple food of the ancient Egyptians and grain was also used as the basis for making beer. The production of grain was one of the principal agricultural activities in Egypt, and is frequently illustrated on tomb walls. When Egypt was part of the Roman Empire, the country served as the main source of grain for Rome.Most Egyptian bread was made from wheat, and but a variety of other ingredients could be added. Shapes varied from round or triangular flat loaves, to tall conical ones baked in pottery moulds. Dozens of different shapes and names are known for loaves of bread, which indicate its importance to the Egyptians.In ancient Egypt death imitated life to a great extent; bread was an essential part of the deceased person's provisions for the Afterlife. This example was perhaps placed in a tomb as a means of sustaining the dead occupant on their journey to the Underworld.


  • Title: Loaf of bread
  • Physical Dimensions: Length: 22.5 centimetres; Width: 23.2 centimetres; Height: 2.7 centimetres
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Registration number: 1904,1008.42
  • Place: Excavated/Findspot: Deir el-Bahri, From debris above 11th dynasty temple
  • Period/culture: New Kingdom
  • Material: bread
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Donated by Egypt Exploration Fund

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps