Stela of Lady Horemheb
Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
On View: Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
Not all funerary stelae made for women were as modest as this one, which was not carved but decorated only with paint. The stela is shaped like a shrine, with an architectural molding and cornice, and an offering sign consisting of a loaf of bread on a mat. A pair of wedjat-eyes, signifying wholeness and protection, surmounts this composition underneath a short prayer to Osiris, god of the dead, for the “Mistress of the House,” Horemheb.
ca. 1938-1759 B.C.E.
24 7/16 x 15 5/8 x 5 11/16 in. (62 x 39.7 x 14.5 cm) (show scale)
Museum Collection Fund
Tomb 19, Harageh, Egypt; 1913-14, excavated by the British School of Archaeology; 1914, purchased from the British School of Archaeology by the Brooklyn Museum.
Limestone funerary stela of the Lady Horemheb with ink inscription and cavetto cornice painted on in ink. Two large wadjet eyes painted on lower part of stela. Torus molding.
Condition: Fair. Entire surface coated with wax by Petrie just after excavation. Edges chipped. Stone soft at edges.
Stela of Lady Horemheb, ca. 1938-1759 B.C.E. Limestone, pigment, 24 7/16 x 15 5/8 x 5 11/16 in. (62 x 39.7 x 14.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Collection Fund, 14.669. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.14.669_erg456.jpg)
. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 9/6/2007
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Tell me more.
This is a relatively simple funerary stela. It was excavated in the tomb of a woman named Horemheb; the inscription includes her name and a request for offerings addressed to the king of the afterlife, Osiris. The Eyes of Horus are symbols of protection and they sit on top of a larger version of the hieroglyph hetep, which can mean offerings.
What are these?
These are known as Eyes of Horus or wedjats, they are symbols of protection and health and can also provide a way for the deceased to see. This stela was designed for the tomb of a woman named Horemheb and asks for offerings. The eyes are sitting on top the sign hetep which can also mean offerings.