Tomb model - ROM2018_16337_80


Tomb model

Medium:Wood, paint
Geography: Possibly Meir, Egypt
Date: c. 2055-1985 BC
Period: Early Middle Kingdom
44.5 × 18.4 × 26.7 cm
Object number: 910.18.3
On view
Gallery Location:Galleries of Africa: Egypt

This wooden model of daily life would have been placed in a tomb, probably on or near the coffin. It shows two men and two donkeys. The men are simply carved, with their eyes, hair, and clothing indicated in paint. They may originally have worn real linen kilts in addition. Each man carries staff to encourage the donkey on its way.

The donkey’s packs bear the hieroglyph for ‘treasury’ – per hedj – whose literal meaning was ‘the house of silver.’ The little group is transporting taxed goods, very likely emmer wheat or barley, to the royal or local treasury. A similar group is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

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