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Donation Stela with a Curse

This stela, which once stood in or near a temple, commemorates a donation of land to that temple, and its text promises dire punishments to anyone misappropriating the land. In modern times the media have made much of Egyptian curses, especially that of King Tutankhamun's tomb. That curse was in fact an invention of a newspaper reporter, inspired by the sudden death of Lord Carnarvon, the sponsor of the archaeological expedition, several months after he attended the opening of the tomb in 1922. Nevertheless, the ancient Egyptians did aim curses against tomb and temple violators, and they believed it was magic (heqa) in the form of written and spoken words that made those curses possible and effective.

Catalogue Description:
Round-topped white limestone stela with deeply cut sunk relief representation of the Libyan chieftain Hornakht accompanied by the flute player Ankh-hor-pa-khered, making donation of a field of 10 acres to Harpocrates who is shown followed by the Mendesian triad of Osiris, Ba-nebdjedet, and Hatmehyt. Below them a text of seven lines in hieratic dating the document to the 22nd year of king Sheshonq (III), ca. 804 B.C. Condition: Very good except for some surface wear, damage to edge, and discoloration.


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