Wooden stela

Accession Number
Current Location
House of Death (ground floor), Offerings case
Object Type
Architecture, Architectural element, Stela
Graeco-Roman Period
Ptolemaic Period
Egypt, Edfu
Height: 588mm | Width: 365mm | Depth: 21mm
Number of Elements
Falcon/hawk | Jackal | Monkey/baboon
Divine Name
Anubis | Behdety | Duamutef | Hapy (son of Horus) | Horus of Edfu | Imsety | Isis | Nephthys | Qebehsenuef

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This wooden funerary stela is covered with plaster over which is painted an offering formula. It formed part of the MacGregor Collection which was bought by Henry Wellcome at auction in 1922. It calls upon various gods, in this case Horus of Edfu, Osiris, Isis, Hathor and Anubis, to ensure that the dead person received bread, beer, beef, geese, incense and ‘all things sweet pure and good on which a god lives’. Such stela only belonged to the wealthy. This example was made for Pashrinyemhotep, an army scribe and overseer of priests in the temple of Horus at Edfu. It is probably 1st century AD in date. Front: The upper section shows the winged sun-disc here associated with the falcon god Horus of Edfu. From the disc hang two snakes representing the deities Nekhbet and Wadjet, of Upper and Lower Egypt respectively. Between them is the inscription BHdt, ‘The Behdetite’ (Horus of Edfu). A legend tells how Nubians plotted against Re. Horus of Edfu flew up in the shape of a winged sun-disc and shone so fiercely that the rebels were blinded and killed each other in panic. In this shape Horus pursued and decapitated Seth. Below, the deceased lies on a lion bed and the dog/jackal-headed god Anubis, or a masked priest, performs revivification rites. Anubis is helped by the goddesses Isis and Nephthys and by the Four Sons of Horus, whose names are written above them. The latter are discussed in the next chapter. On the right, the deceased, dressed as a priest and restored to life, holds up his hands in worship. The inscription starts with the offering formula, addressed to Horus of Edfu and lists Pashrinyemhotep’s many priestly titles. These include a priest of Horus the Child, and of Amun, chief libation priest of Sekhmet, overseer of Selket, overseer of priests of Horus of Edfu, etc. The lowest section shows Osiris incorporated into a djed pillar which is flanked by two Anubis figures in jackal form seated on shrines. During the New Kingdom, the djed pillar came to represent the back bone of Osiris and stability. The deceased wished to be identified with Osiris who was brought back to life through mummification carried out by Anubis. Back: This stela was free-standing and therefore decorated on the reverse. The back shows Isis (right) and Nephthys (left) squatting, with hands raised in worship of Osiris (centre). Beneath is a djed pillar flanked by two representations of the Girdle of Isis. The Girdle of Isis perhaps represents the cloth worn by women during menstruation and was a protective amulet. The piece was researched and translated by Effland who attributed it to the 1st century: Andreas Effland, ‘Materialien zur Archäologie und Geschichte des Raumes von Edfu’ (Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, 2004), pp. 227–30. The father of the owner of W1041 is mentioned in Cairo Museum stela CG2049: Ahmed Bey Kamal, Catalogue Général des Antiquités Égyptiennes du Musée du Caire No. 22001-22238. Stèles Ptolémaiques et Romaines (Cairo, 1905).


Anonymous. 1996. The face of Egypt: Swansea Festival exhibition: 5 October 1996–5 January 1997. Swansea: Glynn Vivian Art Gallery. [Cat. 71]

3D Model


Front: Lunette: bḥdt = Behdety Scene (right to left): Above adoring stela owner: (1) wsi͗r ḥm-nṯr (2) pꜣ-šri͗-<n-i͗i͗>-m-ḥtp (3) mꜣꜥ-ḫrw (1) The Osiris, God's Servant, (2) Pasherienimhotep, (3) true of voice. Above Qebehsenuef: ḳbḥ-snw.f = Qebehsenuef Above Hapy: ḥpi͗ = Hapy Above Nephthys: nbt-ḥwt = Nephthys Above funerary bier: wsi͗r = Osiris Above Anubis: i͗np<w> = Anubis Above Isis: ꜣst = Isis Above Imset: i͗mst = Imset Above Duamutef: dwꜣ-mwt.f = Duamutef Main inscription: (1) [ḥtp-di͗-nswt n ḥr]-bḥdt nṯr ꜥꜣ nb pt sꜣb-šwt pr-m-ꜣḫt ḥr-ꜣḫty ḫnty st-wrt wsi͗r ḫnty-i͗mntt nb tꜣ-wr [An offering which the king gives to Horus] of Edfu, the Great God, Lord of the Sky, Dappled of Plumage, who appears from the horizon; Horakhty, Foremost of the Great Place; Osiris, Foremost of the West, Lord of Ta-wer, (2) nṯr ꜥꜣ nb ḏdt ḥr-wp-šꜥt-tꜣwy wsi͗r [nṯr]-ꜥꜣ-n-bḥdt i͗wn-wr-n-bḥdt ꜣst-wrt ḥddt-n-bḥd.t šntꜣyt ḥr<t>-i͗b tꜣ-wr the Great God, Lord of Djedet; Horus (who) Disperses the Slaughter of the Two Lands; Osiris, the Great [God] in Edfu, the Great Pillar in Edfu; Isis the Great, the Hededet in Edfu, Widow, who dwells within Ta-wer; (3) ḥwt-ḥr ḥnwt i͗mntt nb<t>-mꜣꜥty m wsḫt-mꜣꜥt i͗npw i͗my-wt nb-tꜣ-ḏsr i͗npw ḫnty sḥ-nṯr Hathor, Mistress of the West, Mistress of the Two Truths in the Hall of Maat; Anubis, he who is in the wrappings, Lord of the Sacred Land, Anubis, Foremost of the Divine Booth, (4) di͗.sn prt-ḫrw t ḥnḳt kꜣw ꜣpdw snṯr ḥr sḏt ḫt-nb<t> nfr<t> wꜥb<t> nḏm<t> ꜥnḫ<t> nṯr i͗m.sn ḳrst nfr<t> m [smyt i͗mntt] (in order that) they may give a voice offering of bread, beer, cattle, fowl, incense upon the fire, everything good, pure, and sweet from which a god lives, a good burial in the [western cemetery], (5) i͗wꜥw.f mn ḥr nst.f n kꜣ n wsi͗r ḥm-ḥr sḥtp-ḥm.s ꜥḥꜣ-ꜥ nb-mꜣꜥ-ḫrw ḥm nswtyw bi͗tyw smsw-hꜣyt n ḥr-Bḥdt nṯr-[ꜥꜣ] nb-pt his heirs enduring upon his seat, for the ka of the Servant of Horus, the sḥtp-ḥm.f-priest, Fighting Arm, Lord of Triumph, Servant of the Kings of Upper and Lower Egypt, Elder of the Portal(?) of Horus of Edfu, the [Great] God, Lord of the Sky, (6) wꜣḥ-ḫt n nṯrw n bḥdt sẖꜣw-mšꜥ sẖꜣw-ḥwt-nṯr 2-nw ḥm-nṯr n ḥr-pꜣ-ẖrd ḥm-nṯr Ii͗mn-n-šnꜥ i͗my-r wꜥb<w> sḫm.t i͗my-r ḫrp<w> srḳt ẖry-ḥb ḥry-tp one who makes offerings to the gods of Edfu, Scribe of the Troops, Second Scribe of the Temple, God’s Servant of Harpakhered, God’s Servant of Amun of the Storehouse, Overseer of the Wab-priests of Sekhmet, Overseer of Magicians of Serqet, Chief Lector Priest, (7) sẖꜣw mḏꜣt-nṯr ??? i͗my-r ḥmw-nṯr n ḥr-bḥdt nṯr ꜥꜣ nb pt pꜣ-šry-<n>-i͗i͗-m-ḥtp mꜣꜥ-ḫrw ḫr wsi͗r Scribe of the Divine Book, ???, Overseer of the Priests of Horus of Edfu, the Great God, Lord of the Sky, Pasherienimhotep, true of voice before Osiris, (8) sꜣ-n ḥm-nṯr 3-nw n ḥr-bḥd.t ḥr-sꜣ-ꜣst mꜣꜥ-ḫrw i͗r-n nb<t>-pr ḥry-ns.t.s i͗ḥyt tꜣ-<nt>wsir mꜣꜥ-ḫrw mn sp-sn wꜣḥ sp-sn n sk ḏt son of the Third Priest of Horus of Edfu, Harsiese, true of voice, made by the Mistress of the House, whe who is upon her throne, the Musician, Tantusir, true of voice. Be firm, be firm, endure, endure, (may you) not perish for eternity. Back: Lunette: bḥdt = Behdety Central scene: Above Isis: ꜣst = Isis Above Osiris: wsir = Osiris Above Nephthys: nbt-ḥwt = Nephthys

Personal Names
Harsiese (ḥr-sꜣ-ꜣst) | Pasherienimhotep (pꜣ-šri͗-n-i͗i͗-m-ḥtp) | Tantusir (tꜣ-nt-wsi͗r)
Last modified: 10 Jan 2023

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