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Stela of Pepy

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Many stelae discovered at Abydos were originally left in tombs with other items intended to help the deceased achieve immortality. British archaeologists working there early in the twentieth century found this stela of a man called Pepy—a traditional name—in a Middle Kingdom tomb. Although the text reveals little about Pepy, a streak of individualism seems to have run through his household: of the eleven relatives and servants depicted here, five have names that appear in no other works from more than three thousand years of Egyptian history.

MEDIUM Limestone
  • Place Excavated: Abydos, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1836–1700 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY late Dynasty 12 to early Dynasty 13
    PERIOD Middle Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 14 x 8 3/4 x 5 in. (35.6 x 22.2 x 12.7 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Gift of the Egypt Exploration Society
    PROVENANCE Tomb S201 at Abydos, Egypt; 1911-1912, excavated by Édouard Naville and Thomas Eric Peet for the Egypt Exploration Society; 1912, gift of the Egypt Exploration Society to the Brooklyn Museum.
    Provenance FAQ
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Stela of Pepy, ca. 1836–1700 B.C.E. Limestone, 14 x 8 3/4 x 5 in. (35.6 x 22.2 x 12.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Egypt Exploration Society, 12.911.1. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 12.911.1_PS9.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 12.911.1_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2015
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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