Skip Navigation

Stela from the Tomb of a Noblewoman

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Special Exhibitions, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
Though rebirth in the tomb required gender transformation for women, in the next world women lived forever returned to their original state. In this very ancient and rare Early Dynastic Period stela, a noblewoman is seated at an offering table, able to eat and drink for all eternity. The demands of rebirth are long past and will not be faced again. For the Egyptians, people were reborn only once. There was no further reincarnation beyond the next world.
MEDIUM Limestone
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES ca. 2675-2170 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 3, or earlier
    PERIOD Old Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 10 7/8 x 10 7/16 x 2 9/16 in. (27.7 x 26.5 x 6.5 cm)  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Special Exhibitions, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
    ACCESSION NUMBER 37.1348E
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
    You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form (charges apply). For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact copyright@brooklynmuseum.org.
    CAPTION Stela from the Tomb of a Noblewoman, ca. 2675-2170 B.C.E. Limestone, 10 7/8 x 10 7/16 x 2 9/16 in. (27.7 x 26.5 x 6.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.1348E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 37.1348E_PS9.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 37.1348E_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2015
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Offering stela of a woman. The stela is roughly square in shape. The woman is shown seated behind a table of offerings. The bulk of the stela is occupied with lists of offerings. Limestone. Condition: Right hand upper corner of relief is missing. Other chips and scratches. Surface shows action of mold. Worn.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS
    Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.