Funerary stela of Nes-pawty-tawy (Espotu) - ROM2018_16141_28


Funerary stela of Nes-pawty-tawy (Espotu)

Medium:Acacia wood; plastered and painted.
Geography: Excavated at Deir el-Bahri, Egypt
Date: c. 332-28 BC
Period: Ptolemaic Period
46 × 6.3 × 22 cm
Object number: 907.18.841
On view
Gallery Location:Galleries of Africa: Egypt

This is the bottom half of a wooden stela, the top portion of which has been sawn off, probably in modern times. The hieroglyphs are for the most part carefully and accurately executed.  Traces at the bottom edge show clearly that two feet were once attached, which would suggest a date in the Ptolemaic Period.

The owner of the stele was a Theban priest named Nes-pauty-tawy (who probably pronounced his name something like "Espotu").  A large part of the stela is devoted to an catalogue of Nes-pawuty-tawy's various titles, which included scribe of the treasure of the temple of Amun, wab priest of Re-on-the-Roof of the temple of Amun,  prophet of the ba of the Golden One of Mut the Great, Lady of Asheru, prophet of Hathor of Gebelein, prophet of Soped in the East, and reporting (?) prophet of Khnum of the Field  In view of the variety of his interests and livings, which extended well beyond the Theban area - as far south as Esna,- it is surprising that, as of 2004, he was not known from other records.

On the obverse of the stele, Nes-pauty-tawy names his father as Ankh-ef-en-khonsu, a Second Prophet of Amun, and his mother as Ta-Amun-Neb-Nesut-Tawy, a sistrum-player of Amun-re.

Though only the lower half of this stela survives, fragments of beautiful hymns remain on both sides and on the edges. The last lines of the obverse are a hymn to the sun god, Re, as he rises.  The reverse contains a hymn to the setting sun, Atum. On the thickness of the piece Nes-pauty-tawy prays: "May you grant the sweet breath of the North Wind!  . . . the sweet breath of the North Wind to the Osiris, the prophet . . . Nes-pauty-tawy, [justified.]"

Object History: Excavated by the Egypt Exploration Society, 1907-1910
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