Exhibitions: Unearthing the Truth: Egypt's Pagan and Coptic Sculpture

Funerary Stela of C. Julius Valerius

Funerary Stela of C. Julius Valerius. Egypt, exact provenance unknown, 3rd century C.E. Limestone, traces of paint, 14 1/16 x 10 3/16 x 1 13/16 in. (35.7 x 25.8 x 4.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Evangeline Wilbour Blashfield, Theodora Wilbour, and Victor Wilbour, honoring the wishes of their mother, Charlotte Beebe Wilbour, as a memorial to their father, Charles Edwin Wilbour, 16.105

This stela, by far the oldest in this exhibition, was made for the tomb of a three-year-old boy, whose father was a Roman soldier stationed in Egypt. Thus the child wears a Roman-style garments and stands beside a griffin, which represents the Roman goddess Fortuna. From his Egyptian mother, he inherited the sidelock of hair, traditionally worn by Egyptian children, and the Egyptian gods shown on either side: the jackal god Anubis and Horus, a crowned falcon.