Offering table of Defdji


Rijksmuseum van Oudheden

Rijksmuseum van Oudheden
Leiden, Netherlands

This round offering table is a rarity, the majority of offering tables being rectangular. Sometimes the table comes in the shape of the hieroglyph for ‘offering’ - ‘hetep’ in Egyptian – a reed mat with a loaf of bread on it. This round offering table of Defdji’s is extraordinarily detailed. Defdji was an official possessing prominent titles: ‘Acquaintance of the King, Highly Revered by the Great God, Unique Friend, Great One of the Upper Egypt Ten.’
The offering table is made of white alabaster and is 13 cm thick. The hetep sign has been placed in raised relief, horizontally across the middle. Above the sign there are two dishes, and underneath two little vases and a jug in a bowl. The whole surface is divided into little compartments, each of which features the name of a dish, a drink, or a purifying agent. There are over ninety products in total.
In the top panel seven shallow cavities have been made, each intended to hold a special, consecrated oil. With these seven different oils the cult statue of the deceased was anointed. They are precisely named: from right to left they are ‘festive ointment’, ‘laudation oil’, ‘balm’, ‘nekhenem oil’, ‘Tuawet oil’, ‘top quality cedar oil’ and ‘top quality Libyan oil’. To the right of each little cup it is clearly stated again for whom it is destined: ‘for Defdji’.


  • Title: Offering table of Defdji
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: -2200
  • Location: Egypte
  • Physical Dimensions: h49 cm
  • Datering: c. 2200 v.C.
  • Afmetingen: diam: 49 cm, dikte: 13 cm
  • Type: offering table
  • External Link: Rijksmuseum van Oudheden
  • Medium: stone ; alabaster

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