Relief fragment, inscribed for a woman - ROM2014_13885_16


Relief fragment, inscribed for a woman

Medium:Limestone, carved and painted
Geography: Excavated at the temple of Nebhepetre Montuhotep, Deir el-Bahri, Egypt
Date: c. 2055-2004 BC
Period: Reign of Mentuhotep II, 11th Dynasty, Middle Kingdom
34.6 x 27.2 x 5.5 cm
Object number: 910.34.58
Not on view

The Great Temple of Nebhepetre Montuhotep at Deir el Bahari was constructed in several phases. Its first incarnation appears to have been centered on Hathor, goddess of love and beauty, sexuality, joy and music. As the temple, Akh-Isut, was expanded and renovated, the main focus of the cult became Montu-Re, and then, finally, the Theban god, Amun.  The temple was decorated with scenes from the standard Old Kingdom repertoire of hunting and warfare, but also from more local traditions showing processions of royal ladies, boat rituals, and possibly a sea battle. 
There were also a series of shrines to royal ladies.  This piece may be from one of them. It is part of a blessing.  The feminine ending show that the blessing was written for a woman.  It reads " . . . All health, all joy, may she live like Ra . . . "

Although the paint has faded and flaked off in places, enough remains to show the grace and beauty of the orginal inscription.

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