Stele of the High Priest of Ptah, Shedsunefertem

Stele of the High Priest of Ptah, Shedsunefertem

945-924 BC

Limestone, originally painted and gilded

Overall: 86.8 x 78.5 cm (34 3/16 x 30 7/8 in.)

Gift of the John Huntington Art and Polytechnic Trust 1914.669

Description

This stele of Shedsunefertem, the High Priest of Ptah, is rich in religious symbolism. In the center of the top register is a disk and crescent, originally gilded. At either side a baboon raises its arms in adoration. The Egyptians believed that the jabbering of the baboons at dawn was a hymn of praise to the sun god Ra in a secret language only the king understood. It begins, "Praising Ra when he shines on the horizon." Directly below in the middle register a child god is seated on a lotus flower. In Egyptian mythology the sun arose out of the primeval waters at the dawn of creation in a lotus flower. Winged figures of Maat, goddess of Truth, stand protectively at either side. The damaged figure of the high priest himself, wearing the panther skin and jackal-collar of his office, appears at the far right, worshipping the god Ptah, whose consort, the lioness-headed goddess Sekhmet, appears on the far left. The figures in the bottom register are colleagues who appear here as dependents under the powerful high priest's protection.

See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Is something not working on this page? Please email help.website@clevelandart.org.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar.