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Inscribed slab

Limestone doorjamb fragment, Egyptian, 23452181 BC

Limestone doorjamb fragment, Egyptian, 23452181 BC

This broken limestone fragment has been joined together in modern times with 1898.209.e to restore part of the door-jamb of a tomb. The surviving hieroglyphic inscription gives the opening words of the standard offering formula, which ensures that offerings will be made magically to the ka of the deceased for ever. It reads ' offering which the king gives to Anubis, on his hill, that he may give offerings of bread and beer to...'. As only the king could act as an intermediary between people and the gods, the formula says that the king will give offerings to Anubis (jackal god of the cemetery and embalming), so that he may share these with the deceased person.

The fragment dates to the late 6th Dynasty (Old Kingdom) and comes from the tomb of Mery-ptah, who is recorded on other surviving inscriptions as the seal-bearer of the king of Lower Egypt and overseer of the law-court. It was found by Flinders Petrie at Dendera, Upper Egypt, in 189798, and given to Glasgow Museums in 1898 by the Egypt Exploration Fund, sponsor of the excavations which Glasgow Museums helped finance through membership of the Fund.

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