About this object

Many fragments of a cake of barley bread from an Egyptian tomb (at least 16 pieces in storage and some in the gallery within basket M11914]. People in ancient Egypt ate bread every day. Unfortunately the flour the Egyptians produced for making bread was not as refined as we have today. The finest sieves could not remove impurities such as sand and dirt which would have worn away and damaged teeth. Many ancient Egyptians suffered from toothache, abscesses and tooth loss.

The bread is from the collection of Joseph Sams (MS page 31 no. 112 and page 32 no. 114). In Joseph Mayer's 1852 catalogue it notes the food and fruit in case 7 were "taken from the tombs at Thebes", and so is most likely part of an offering left in a tomb as a food for the spirit of the deceased. In 1878 a "good deal" of this "large quantity of fragments of bread and cakes from an Egyptian tomb" was sold as duplicate by Sotheby, Wilkinson and Hodge.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Food
  • Culture
    New Kingdom or later
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt
  • Date made
    1550 - 1069 BC (Dynasty 18 BC - 20) about
  • Materials
    Bread
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Joseph Mayer
  • Collector
    Joseph Mayer
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt
  • Date collected
    1852 before
  • Measurements
  • Related people
    Joseph Mayer (Collector, previous owner); Joseph Sams (Previous owner)
  • Related documents/media

Explore related

Publications

  • Catalogue of the Egyptian Museum, No. VII, Colquitt Street, Liverpool

    Mayer, Joseph

    Author: Mayer, Joseph
    Publisher: Joseph Mayer
    Date: 1852
    Description: Joseph Mayer published a catalogue of his collection in 1852, whilst it was at his Egyptian Museum in Colquitt Street. This is before he donated his collection to the Liverpool Free Public Museums in 1867 so his entries do not include the accession numbers that the objects now bear.

  • Catalogue of the Mayer Collection Part 1. The Egyptian, Babylonian and Assyrian Antiquities. Second and Revised Edition

    Gatty, Charles

    Author: Gatty, Charles
    Publisher: The Committee of the Liverpool Free Public Library, Museum and Gallery of Art
    Date: 1879
    Description: 83 page illustrated catalogue of Joseph Mayer's Egyptian and Near Eastern collection that was on display. It also includes a small number of other collections, such as those given by Mr William Crosfield in 1861, some by Mr Charles Stoess in 1869, and others by Mr J. A. Tinne in 1870. Occasionally reference will be made to the provenance of objects, in particular if they are from the Joseph Sams or Lord Valentia collections. The woodcut illustrations were produced by the noted Victorian illustrator and engraver, Llewellynn Frederick William Jewitt FSA. Compared to Mayer's 1852 catalogue there are more detailed descriptions for inscribed objects such as stelae, giving names and titles and the character of the text. Much of this information was provided by Samuel Birch of the British Museum who visited the collections in March 1877.

  • Handbook and Guide to the Egyptian Collection on Exhibition in the Public Museums, Liverpool 4th Edition

    Newberry, Percy; Peet, Thomas Eric

    Author: Newberry, Percy; Peet, Thomas Eric
    Publisher: City of Liverpool Public Museums
    Date: 1932-03
    Description: The original handbook and guide was largey the work of Professor Newberry, before he retired from the Chair of Egyptology at the University of Liverpool. Professor T. E. Peet saw its completion, but also its revison in subsequent editions. The section on Meroe has been written by Miss D M Vaughan, M.A.

Ownership

Previous owners

  • Joseph Mayer

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1867
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Joseph Sams

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: Unknown or unrecorded
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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