Model of a Soul House and Garden
This model shows the facade of a soul house with a portico, or covered entrance, that is supported by two rows of four columns in the form of bound lotus flowers and stems.
The well-preserved colors of these columns range from white and yellow to blue, while the capitals are painted in green and red. In front of the portico, there is a rectangular lake painted blue, surrounded on three sides by sycamore trees with abundant leaves and fruits, which are similar to figs.
Over time, the offering trays displayed here on the left become more and more complex. After the end of the First Intermediate Period, “soul houses” evolve into actual house models, sometimes even including an upper floor and the stairs leading up to it. Offering models are still represented in the forecourt. These trays were placed in and at the entrances to tombs. Most of the models have a kind of spout at the front through which libation water could flow into the ground.
Middle Kingdom, 12th Dynasty, ca. 1981-1975 BC. From the Tomb of Meketre (TT280), Sheikh Abd el-Qurna, West Thebes. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 46721