Courtesy Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums

The banquet of a high official is depicted on an engraved ivory panel, about 6 inches (15 cm) long, found at Tel el Far’ah south of Gaza. It dates to around 1,300 B.C.

This panel is one of four on a box. The other three panels show the preparations for the banquet: trapping ducks, catching fish, and carrying ducks and a calf. The box was found in a building which was probably the Egyptian governor’s residence. Presumably the box was made for him. The style is a mixture of Egyptian and Canaanite decorative elements.

Behind the lady holding a lotus flower in her left hand and pouring a drink for the official there appears a dancing-girl. This dancer seems to be naked, with bangles on her ankles. The bend of her elbow is visible to the left of the large missing fragment. A musician playing the double pipe accompanies the dancer. His fine dress suggests a social status much higher than that of the dancer he accompanies.