Ancestor stela

Accession Number
Current Location
House of Death (ground floor), Domestic piety case
Object Type
Architecture, Architectural element, Stela
New Kingdom
Nineteenth Dynasty
Stone/minerals (Limestone)
Egypt, Abydos
Height: 115mm | Width: 78mm | Depth: 33mm
Number of Elements

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This limestone fragment is part of an ꜣḫ i͗ḳr n Rꜥ stela. On the left, the dedicatee is seated on a high-backed chair wearing a wig with fillet and a wesekh-collar. He has a short beard and wears a short wig with a fillet band tied around it. The curved end of the top of the chair can be seen just above the collar. In his left hand he holds a lotus-flower, which sinuously curls away from his body with its blossom looping back towards his face, giving the impression that he is sniffing its pleasing fragrance. In his right hand the dedicatee appears to be holding a bouquet of flowers, the remains of which can be seen just in front of him. Traces of brown and white paint on the surface. In the lunette above the scene is a text, written in a number of vertical lines. The text, which is incomplete, can be tentatively reconstructed based on other examples of this type. The complete text is likely to have been written in four or five vertical lines of hieroglyphs and would probably have read as: Ancestor stelae were common during the Ramesside Period. While most often found at Deir el-Medina, this fragment appears to have come from Abydos. The stela fragment was gifted to the University of Wales, Aberystwyth by John Bancroft Willans, a subscriber of the Egypt Exploration Fund/Society, who received the object in 1903. Subsequently gifted to the Egypt Centre in 1997.


Demarée, R. J. 1983. The ꜣḫ i͗ḳr n Rꜥ-stelae: on ancestor worship in ancient Egypt. Egyptologische Uitgaven 3. Leiden: Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten. Griffin, K. 2007. An ꜣḫ i͗ḳr n Rꜥ stela from the collection of the Egypt Centre, Swansea. In Schneider, Thomas and Kasia Szpakowska (eds), Egyptian stories: a British Egyptological tribute to Alan B. Lloyd on the occasion of his retirement, 137-147. Münster: Ugarit-Verlag.

3D Model

Other Identity
A232 (inventory number changed from A232 to AB129 on the 17 Aug 2020)
Previous Owners
British School of Archaeology in Egypt | John Bancroft Willans (1881–1957) | University of Wales, Aberystwyth
Gift, The University of Wales, Aberystwyth (24 Mar 1997)


[Wsi͗r ꜣḫ i͗ḳr n] Rꜥ Pꜣ-(?) mꜣꜥ-ḫrw(?) [The Osiris, the able spirit of] Re, Pa-(?), the Justified?

Last modified: 21 Mar 2022

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