Oct 13, 2009

Stele of Shemai

Stele of Shemai

c. 1960–1916 BC

Painted limestone

Overall: 83.5 x 86 x 23 cm (32 7/8 x 33 7/8 x 9 1/16 in.)

Gift of Edward S. Harkness 1921.1017


Did you know?

This door-shaped stele honors a deceased chief of police named Shemai.


Two techniques of relief carving are employed here: the scene of the deceased seated before a table of offerings and its accompanying inscriptions are in raised relief, while the border inscriptions are in sunk relief. The three columns of hieroglyphs in the center read: "The one honored before Osiris, lord of Busiris, the great god, lord of Abydos, that he [the god] may give invocation-offerings of bread and beer, oxen and fowl, travertine [vases] and clothing to the ka [vital spirit] of the chief of police, Shemai, vindicated."

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