Three fragments of barley bread from an Egyptian tomb kept within a basket [M11914]. Dimensions are for the largest piece The surface is pitted with hundreds of holes and lots of loss around the edges. Cake of barley bread from an Egyptian tomb kept within a basket [M11914]. The staples of the Egyptian diet were bread and beer. Breads were made with emmer wheat and barley, and baked into different shapes that included flat loaves and long conical ones. Unfortunately the flour the 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. 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. From the Sams collection (page 31 no. 112 and page 32 no. 114). 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. In 1910 Percy Newberry catalogued M11115 as "Barley Bread. Fourteen specimens of bread and cakes: very light and full of ... holes". CONDITION NOTE 1998: Old insect infestation? or highly vesicular, very friable, surface dirt.