Sandstone offering table of Qenabelile

From Faras, Sudan
Meroitic Period, 1st-2nd centuries AD

Offering table showing a goddess and Anubis pouring water

Meroitic offering tables tend to be roughly square in shape, with a central depression for holding liquids. Some examples bear illustrations of offerings, while this one shows a goddess on the left and Anubis on the right pouring water on behalf of the deceased. Around the outside is an inscription which names the owner and gives his parentage.

The Meroitic language is written in two scripts, one derived from hieroglyphs and the other a more cursive form, as here. Although the sound-values of the signs are known, insufficient material for comparison, especially bilingual inscriptions or related languages that are understood, has been found to enable the language to be analysed or translated properly. Thus names can mostly be read, but the longer inscriptions largely defy interpretation.

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More information


F. Ll. Griffith, 'Meroitic funerary inscriptions from Faras, Nubia' in Receuil détudes égyptologiques (Paris, 1922)

T. Säve-Söderbergh, Temples and tombs of ancient N (London, Thames and Hudson, 1987)


Length: 45.800 cm
Width: 40.000 cm
Height: 16.500 cm

Museum number

EA 1587


Excavated by Oxford University


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