The sculptor who carved this colorful funerary stela of the official Maaty and his wife, Dedwi, lived during the First Intermediate Period. At this time, the centralized royal government of the Old Kingdom had given way to local rulers, isolating provincial artists from the artistic traditions of the royal court. They developed local styles which, as on this stela, tended to be simple but lively.
Limestone funerary stela of Maat (?) and his wife Ddwi (Ddw), brilliantly painted mainly in red, pale green and yellow. Oblong, vertical form with conventional border on sides of painted oblongs and on top a border of similar panels with rounded tops. The lower part of the stela is occupied by Maat standing with a plain staff before a conventional group of offerings. Behind him stands his wife. The upper part of the stela is occupied by five lines of hieroglyphs. Below these and directly over the woman are three short columns of hieroglyphs. Translation of the five lines: 1) An offering which the King gives, (and) Anubis upon his mountain, 2) who is in the place of embalming, lord of the necropolis in all his beautiful 3) places; funerary offerings of bread and beer (?) for the Chancellor of the King of Lower Egypt, Sole Companion, 4) Overseer of the Prison (or fortress), M3c.t. Beloved of 5) his lord, who does what his lord praises every day, 6) His beloved wife, Sole Royal Ornament, Dd.w.”. Condition: Almost perfect preservation. Various ancient defects in the stone and one deep round hole in center of bottom line, probably ancient. Pigment in good condition.