Model Bakery and Brewery from the Tomb of Meketre

Period: Middle Kingdom

Dynasty: Dynasty 12

Reign: reign of Amenemhat I, early

Date: ca. 1981–1975 B.C.

Geography: From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Southern Asasif, Tomb of Meketre (TT 280, MMA 1101), serdab, MMA excavations, 1920

Medium: Wood, gesso, paint, linen

Dimensions: l. 73 cm (28 3/4 in); w. 55 cm (21 5/8 in); h. 29 cm (11 7/16 in)
average height of figures: 21 cm (8 1/4 in.)

Credit Line: Rogers Fund and Edward S. Harkness Gift, 1920

Accession Number: 20.3.12


The figures in Meketre's models, especially those from the combined bakery and brewery, are small works of art in their own right. Although several figures in a given model may be performing the same task, each is a distinct individual, and each has a slightly different pose.

The most striking aspect of Meketre's brewers is their arms, which were specially crafted for each figure according to the task he performs. These figures and those in Meketre's other models convey a feeling of motion that was seldom achieved, or desired, in more formal Egyptian statuary. Note particularly the pose of the man decanting beer at the right.