Votive offerings placed in or beneath the foundation of a building or in its immediate vicinity. They are attested under royal temples and tombs as well as under private tombs. The earliest examples date to the Early Dynastic Period (Buto; von der Way 1997: 154-155), the latest to the Christian period.
Foundation deposits are most often placed at the corners of buildings; other common locations are under hypostyle halls, courts, pylons, along walls and at the main axis of temples. Before placing them a foundation ceremony comprising ten steps was performed.
|Period||Type of object||examples of deposits|
|Old Kingdom||food offerings, pottery or stone vessels, sometimes grindstones; placed in small round pits||valley temple at Meydum|
food offerings, pottery or stone vessels, model tools,sometimes grindstones;
mud bricks with inscribed objects inside;
valley temple at Lahun
|pottery vessels, tools, calcite ointment jars, beads, food offerings; model tools, miniature pottery, faience and steatite plaques (no longer laid in a mud brick)||mortuary temple of Amenhotep II; Hierakonpolis|
|New Kingdom, Ramesside Period||increase in uniform mass-production: many small faience objects, longer inscriptions on stone or faience objects||mortuary temple of Tausret, Nebunnef, Merenptah|
|Third Intermediate Period||small plaques of copper/bronze, faience and model pottery vessels||The are not many examples of the period in the Petrie museum. Examples are well-known from Tanis (Montet 1952: 133-148). (click on the image for a larger picture)|
|Late Period||miniature inscribed stone and metal plaques, model mud bricks, pottery, rectangular green faience plaques, resin and ore sample||unprovenanced pieces|
purely Egyptian examples are similar to those of the Late Period
Greek influence seen in series of rectangular plaques with bilingual dedication
Weinstein 2001 (summary with further literature)
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