The Funerary Offering Table of Watetkhethor, a 6th Dynasty Egpytian Princess
Updated: Jun 21, 2022
My latest reproduction is a wall painting for the tomb of Watetkhethor, daughter of king Teti, dating to Dynasty 6 (around 2290 BC).
It shows Watetkhethor seated in front of a table of offerings, whilst servants bring her legs of meat and birds to add to her piles of bread and gifts of flowers. The offering scene was the most important piece of art in an Ancient Egyptian tomb, as it provided the spells necessary for the deceased to continue eating and drinking in the afterlife.
It comes from the Mereruka mastaba, which contains a complex of three individual’s tombs situated in the northeast section of the Saqqara necropolis, immediately north of the pyramid of Teti. Measuring an impressive 30m x 41m and standing 4.5m tall in its final phase of construction, it is the largest mastaba tomb by chamber count in Egypt. It was constructed for the family of Mereruka, vizier and chief justice under Teti and the second most powerful person in the state at the beginning of Dynasty 6. It contains 21 chambers dedicated to Mereruka himself, as well as 5 for his wife Watetkhethor, “eldest daughter of the king, of his body", and 5 for their son, Meryteti.
The hieroglyphs give the standard offering formulae:
'Requirements of Hetepet-offerings and Henek-offerings, a thousand breads, a thousand beer, a thousand oxen, a thousand fowl, a thousand alabaster jars, a thousand clothes, and a thousand of all the good offerings of the year'.
On the opposite side of the table and underneath it are piled items of food, jars and an ewer, above which is written:
'All the good offerings of the year'.