Painted wooden model of a granary

From Aswan, Egypt
6th Dynasty, around 2200 BC

In ancient Egypt, many junior officials, who were not able to afford tombs with elaborate decoration, would substitute models of various scenes, and many tombs have been found with the models still in place. However, the use of models also extended to those who were able to afford more elaborate tombs; even King Nebhepetre Mentuhotep II was buried with many models (some are now in the British Museum).

A model of a granary like this, often filled with actual grains, might be placed in the tomb to provide a perpetual supply of grain for the dead. The granary is a free-standing structure, entered via a single door. It has a courtyard and, along the back wall, the main storage area, consisting of bins with moveable hatches. Each was meant to contain a different kind of grain, the names of which are inscribed in ink above the hatches. Further bins are located on the opposite side, next to the door. A ladder leads to an upper level and a figure of a servant stands in the court.

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Height: 27.500 cm
Width: 42.000 cm
Length: 44.000 cm

Museum number

EA 21804


Gift of the Rt. Hon. Francis Wallace Grenfell


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