Object 1912:261, housed within the collection of the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin, is a limestone composite offering table and libation basin.
Offering tables were believed to be a magical funerary object. The carved food and drink was was transformed into real sustenance when activated by water and was designed to be a daily meal for the deceased. The objects depicted on this table are loaves of bread and libation vases. These objects were designed to provide eternal sustenance for the deceased.
Offerings and libations were usually made for the dead in their funerary chapels. This example is from the Late Period and, during this time, these objects were often placed in the burial chamber with the deceased. The offerings were usually placed on a rolled reed mat, as is represented by the hieroglyph for the word Htp meaning ‘offering’:
Later examples of offering tables were made to look like this hieroglyph.
This particular piece is unusual as it combines an offering table with the libation basin from one single piece of limestone.