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The Question of Identity: Ethnicity, Language, Religion, and Gender

Before Islam:  Egypt

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Model Workshop

Model Workshop

In this model workshop, two men are butchering a cow while a third man, near the cow's hindquarters, holds a fan with which he was fanning a fire, perhaps cooking blood pudding made from the blood collected when the cow's throat was slit. At the opposite side of the model, women (with lighter skin than the men in the butcher scene) grind grain for making bread and beer; another woman tends a brazier, perhaps cooking the mash, while a man is shown perhaps sieving the beer at a sieve at the cow's back. Five stoppered jars of beer sit in a basket between the man sieving and the woman at the brazier.
Such model workshops were placed in Middle Kingdom tombs so that the model figures could continue working for the deceased in the afterlife. These models made of painted wood and cloth may descend from individual Old Kingdom stone statues of workers, which were deposited in tombs.

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