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Wooden model of servants preparing food

British Museum

British Museum

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.

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  • Title: Wooden model of servants preparing food
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 30.50cm
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: painted
  • Registration number: 1923,0113.8
  • Place: Excavated/Findspot Sidmant
  • Period/culture: 6th Dynasty
  • Material: wood
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Donated by Art Fund
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