Pit from a Balanites tree with a hole caused by a rodent

Old Kingdom

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 100

A large number of pits from the Balanites aegyptiaca tree were found in the debris at the southwest corner of Perneb's tomb.

Balanites nuts resemble dates, with a hard, fibrous shell covered by a thin skin and sticky flesh surrounding an interior kernel. The fruit itself is slightly bitter, said to taste a bit like horehound. The kernels were likely pressed to extract their oil, which would have been used for cooking or for cosmetic preparations.

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