Offering table

Offering table.jpg

An important part of every tomb, intended to receive the offerings brought to the tomb by the relatives of the deceased, or in their names by the mortuary priest. The offerings were probably originally placed on a woven reed mat; a depiction of this with an offering loaf on it forms the hieroglyph 'hetep', which means 'offering'. Later offering tables, usually made of stone, frequently represent this hieroglyph. Other goods considered to be of value to the deceased could also be depicted on them in stone, such as meat and fowl, which then functioned as magical, eternal replacements for the actual offerings. Channels could also be cut into the stone for oils and other liquid offerings. In many instances the offering table was also inscribed with the so-called offering formula or offering list.