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Stela of Ramesses II

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Old Kingdom to 18th Dynasty, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
This stela commemorates Ramesses II’s presentation of statues to a temple of Amun-Re. The arrangement of scenes and texts conveys the Egyptians’ conception of their state. Heaven appears at the top, with the gods beneath it. The text links the divine and human realms, while the terrestrial home of the populace is at the bottom.

The upper register shows Amun-Re, the principal god of Egypt during the New Kingdom, presenting symbols of kingship to Ramesses II. The text specifies the king’s five names, emphasizing his more-than-human qualities. The lowest register contains lapwing birds that represent the populace praising the king.
CULTURES Nubian; Egyptian
MEDIUM Sandstone
DATES ca. 1279–1213 B.C.E.
DYNASTY Dynasty 19
PERIOD New Kingdom
DIMENSIONS 66 5/16 x 34 5/16 x 7 5/16 in. (168.5 x 87.2 x 18.5 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Large sandstone stela of Ramesses II, in sunk relief. Upper part shows Ramesses II standing on the right receiving the insignia of kingship from Amun, behind him stands Mut, five rows of hieroglyphs below. The figures are executed in good XIXth dynasty style and the stela is a good example of conventional work of the period. Above the figures are six columns of hieroglyphs, and there is one column between the king and Amun. According to Fairman, "The text gives the titulary of the king and contains a reference to what may be the official name of the town - 'the house of Ramesses - Meriamen'. The ordinary name of the town not recorded on this stela may have been Khenemwaset, 'she-who-unites-with-Thebes'. At the base of the stela are two cartouches surmounted with disks and flanked on each side with a pair of Rhkyet birds. Condition: When excavated, the stela was found face down, broken into four parts, but complete. Surface slightly weathered, but in general condition excellent. Faint traces of paint on the bodies and details of upper portion. At the lower left corner is a small depression, but probably ancient.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Old Kingdom to 18th Dynasty, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
CAPTION Nubian. Stela of Ramesses II, ca. 1279–1213 B.C.E. Sandstone, 66 5/16 x 34 5/16 x 7 5/16 in. (168.5 x 87.2 x 18.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 39.423. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 39.423_SL3.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 39.423_SL3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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