Large Oval Storage Basket

New Kingdom

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 116

The undisturbed tomb of a woman named Hatnefer (36.3.1) was discovered by the Museum's Egyptian Expedition in 1936. This find was particularly interesting because Hatnefer was the mother of Senenmut, a well-known official of the female pharaoh Hatshepsut. Hatnefer had died in her seventies, outliving her husband, Ramose, and several other family members by many years. When his mother died, Senenmut brought the mummies of his father, three women, and four children from their previous resting place, and had them interred in Hatnefer's tomb. He provided his family with all of the things necessary for the afterlife, including baskets of food to nourish their spirits.

This oval basket has a slightly convex lid. Both are made with coils of grass that are sewn together using the same grass. A flange of two coils has been attached to the inside of the rim using strips of palm leaf. The decoration of chevrons is created with dyed grass wrapped around the coils. The basket contains various types of bread (36.3.73, .74, .78, .79), dishes of dates (36.3.64, .66) and raisins (36.3.65), dome palm nuts, and other foodstuffs (36.3.79).

Large Oval Storage Basket, Halfa grass, palm leaf, linen cord

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