Ceramic Models of Vessels in Ancient Egytian Funerary Cult of the Old Kingdom

Malykh Svetlana E.

Numerous miniature votive models of vessels were found in funerary complexes of the kings and in the nobles’ tombs of the Pyramid zone: Abu-Roash, Giza, Abusir, Saqqara, Hel- wan, Dahshur and Meidum. The bulk of those objects come from the period of the 4th–6th dynasties, the peak of their use falling on the second half of the 4th and the 5th dynasty. The archaeological context of votive pottery accumulations at pyramid mortuary complexes and Sun Temples is homogenous: most models were found near the exits from the places of performing the royal cult, beyond the temples. This means that the models were used only once for daily rituals in the king’s temples. Similar (but smaller) accumulations were discovered near the nobles' tombs by the exits of funerary chapels. Both royal and private pottery accu- mulations show that votive models prevailed over practical vessels in funeral rites. Analysing relevant archaeological and epigraphic data (tomb scenes illustrating offering of vessels), the author comes to the conclusion that ceramic models manufactured in pottery shops attached to mortuary temples of kings were directly connected with the formula ̇tp-dj-nsvwt and apparently were used as substitutes for offerings of bread and beer in the ritual of feeding the k .

Keywords: Ancient Egypt, Old Kingdom, pyramids, tombs, funeral rites, royal cult