Lowie Museum of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley

The Egyptian Prince Wepemnefret sits before a typical funerary feast: eight loaves of bread rest on a flat-surfaced table supported by a shaft that flares at the bottom. This stand is very similar to the stand of “gold with a shaft that flares at the bottom” which the Israelites were commanded to make in the desert (Exodus 23:31–2) to support the source of light in their Tabernacle.

This slab-stele of fine white limestone was carved in low relief and then painted. It was found in the mastaba or tomb complex at Giza in Egypt and has been dated to Dynasty IV (c. 2650–2500 B.C.). The simple ring molding on the narrowest part of the stand is the only kind of decoration on these stands until the end of the Late Bronze Age.