One of my favorite forms of Kemetic art is stelae, slabs of stone or wood with inscriptions, paintings, or reliefs.   There are funerary, votive, commemorative, and boundary stelae, all with different functions.  Votive stelae were usually placed in temples and were decorated with painting on a thin layer of plaster or with a painted relief.  Most of the scenes on this type of stela show an individual worshipping or presenting offerings to a god or goddess, usually the deity from which he was seeking assistance.

The following are particularly beautiful expressions of this form of personal piety, with examples dedicated to Het-Hert's father Ra.  I plan to add descriptions of the iconography and translations of the hieroglyphs in the future.

Stela of Djed-khonsu-ius-ankh         Stela of Taperet
        Stela of Djed-amon-iu-ankh    

(1)  Stela of Djed-khonsu-ius-ankh, Singer of Amun, plays the harp before Ra-Heru-Akhety, Thebes, Third Intermediate Period, stuccoed and painted wood.  In Andreu's Ancient Egypt at the Louvre, p. 173.  Translation and description.

(2)  Stela of Taperet, Third Intermediate Period, stuccoed and painted wood.  In Andreu's Ancient Egypt at the Louvre, p. 172.

(3)  Stela of Djed-amon-iu-ankh, Thebes, Deir el-Bahari, Third Intermediate Period, stuccoed and painted wood, in Saleh's The Egptian Museum Cairo: Official Catalog, pl. 243

Funerary stela of Den-iuen-khons         Stele of Dief-ankh         Funerary stele of Mer-Hathor-ites

(4)  Funerary stela of Den-iuen-khonsu, Mistress of the House and Musician of Amun, Third Intermediate Period, painted sycamore fig wood (33 cm high), London, British Museum, in Gay Robins' The Art of Ancient Egypt, pl. 245, p. 204.

(5)  Stele of Dief-ankh, Thebes, Ramesseum, Dynasty 22 or 23, plastered and painted wood, in Silverman's Searching for Ancient Egypt: Art, Architecture, and Artifacts, pl. 98, p. 284.

(6)  Funerary stele of Mer-Hathor-ites, Early Ptolemaic Period (end of 4th c. BCE), Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum, in Schulz and Seidel's Egypt: World of the Pharaohs, pl. 45, p. 313.

Funerary stela of Djed-khonsu-iw-es-ankh        Funerary stela of Ankh-ef-en-khons        Stele11.jpg (90685 bytes)

(7) Funerary stela of Djed-khonsu-es-ankh, from the Luxor Ramesseum, Third Intermediate Period, wood gesso and pigment, 22nd Dynasty, in the Oriental Institute Museum. (OIM 1351) (Photographed by NeferuHethert) Translation and description.

(8)  Funerary stela of Ankh-ef-en-khons, the priest of the sacred staff of Amun, probably from Thebes, c. 600 BCE, painted wood, British Museum, in Malek's Egyptian Art, pl. 233, p. 371.

(9) Stela of Iri-ka-Ra from Luxor, ca. 945 B.C.E., Third Intermediate Period, in the Oriental Institute Museum (OIM 1352).  (Photographed by Neferuhethert)

Stele12.jpg (330746 bytes)         Stele13.jpg (326352 bytes)        Stele15.jpg (195611 bytes)

(10) Stela of Padi-khonsu, from the Theban area, Late Period, 25th Dynasty, c. 700 BCE, painted wood, Berlin Museum, in Schoske's Schönheit Abglanz der Göttlichkeit: Kosmetik im Alten Ägypten, p. 71-72.

(11) Stela of Nes-khonsu-pa-khered, Dynasty 20-21, painted wood, in the Museum of Turin, Scamuzzi's Egyptian Art in the Egyptian Museum of Turin, pl. XCII

(12) Stela of Tentesamun, Chantress of Amun, Third Intermediate Period, Dynasty 22, from Thebes, in the Fitzwilliam Museum, in Vassilika's Egyptian Art, p. 44.

 Hathorlogobksm.gif (3061 bytes)

Text and original graphics copyright © 1999-2007 by Neferuhethert. All rights reserved. All graphics which are not original works have been credited to their source or used with permission, and their copyright remains the property of the source cited. No use of any original written or graphical material is allowed in any form whatsoever without prior written permission.  Questions should be directed to neferuhethert at This is a non-profit website for educational purposes only. Last updated 01/27/10.