Stela fragment - ROM2018_16310_44


Stela fragment

Medium:Limestone, red and yellow ochre
Geography: Undetermined site, Egypt
Date: c. 1550-1069 BC
Period: 18th Dynasty, New Kingdom
17.5 × 15.5 × 4.5 cm
Object number: 979X2.62
On view
Gallery Location:Galleries of Africa: Egypt

This fragmentary stele has two stories to tell. It was ordered and carved, in expensive raised relief, for a man and his wife, who are seated on the left, and another man, probably their son, who stands to the right. At some point in history the original names and inscription were erased, and another set of names was inscribed in sunken relief. The man on the right is identified as ‘son’ and has the name of the god Amun as an element in his own name. He seems to have held some position at Djeser-djeseru, the great temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el Bahari. The pair on the left are identified as a man named Ameny, also associated with Djeser-djeseru, and his wife, referred to affectionately as his ‘sister’ whose name appears to be Ta-ta.

Both men have either shaven heads or wear tightly fitted skullcaps. The lady has an elaborately plaited wig. The couple wear cones of unguent on their heads; these may be the symbol of their status as powerful spirits. She holds onto her husband’s shoulder as he lifts a water-lily blossom to his nose. The son lifts his hand in greeting or to present the offerings on a now-missing table.

At the top of the stele there were once two wedjat eyes with a red-coloured basin between them.

Unfortunately neither the original nor the secondary story is complete due to serious damage to the stele.

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