© RMN / Christian Larrieu
This high ranking official lived during the Old Kingdom. A wall of his tomb was inscribed with the list of offerings he wished to enjoy in the afterlife; this document gives us a very full picture of the delicacies that could be found on the tables of rich Egyptians at the time of the construction of the pyramids.
The list reads from top to bottom and right to left. Each section contains the name of a product and a quantity.
There are many different sorts of bread (ut bread, baker's bread, heta, neher, depeti, pezen, and shenes bread, bread baked in the earth, henefu and hebenut bread, pat cakes, grilled bread, zif bread, shat cakes, nepat and mesut cakes, white barley, toasted cereal, babat grains... The names of these various breads no doubt correspond to a particular shape or to the kind of dough used to make them.
There is meat too: a piece of sut meat, a shoulder of beef, a leg of beef, a kidney, beef ribs, a roast, a liver, a spleen, a breast, a tjerep goose, a zet goose, a duck, a turtle dove. The preference is clearly for red meat on this wealthy person's menu.
Fruits and vegetables are fewer: onions, ished fruit, jujube fruit, jujube paste, carobs, figs... Lastly, there are drinks: a jug of pale ale, a jug of khenmes beer, portions of milk beer, of peha, of sesher, of wine, of wine in jars. The complete list contains ninety-one products composing the deceased's ideal menu for the afterlife.
The text ends with a sort of summary of the list: "a thousand loaves of bread, a thousand cakes, a thousand ox heads, a thousand duck heads"... plenty to sustain the deceased on his long journey!