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Stela of the Woman Takhenemet

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: 19th Dynasty to Roman Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor

Although painted wooden stelae are known from just before Dynasty XVIII (circa 1539–1295 B.C.), they did not become common until Dynasty XXI (circa 1070–945 B.C.), at the outset of the Third Intermediate Period (circa 1070–653 B.C.). Thereafter they were popular until the end of the Ptolemaic Period (305–30 B.C.).

These wooden stelae were often deposited inside the burial chamber out of public view. As on countless earlier stelae, the central scene usually shows the deceased making an offering to a deity, but on examples dating to the Third Intermediate Period the dead person makes the offering directly, without the assistance of another god.

Here Takhenemet pays homage to the hawk-headed solar god Re-Horakhty, who has the guise and costume of Osiris, lord of the underworld. The composite representation illustrates well the merging of religious beliefs that occurred in the Third Intermediate Period with regard to the solar and nether realms.

CULTURE Egyptian
MEDIUM Wood, gesso, pigment
DATES ca. 775-653 B.C.E.
DYNASTY Dynasty 25 (probably)
PERIOD Third Intermediate Period
DIMENSIONS 10 3/4 x 9 7/16 x 13/16 in. (27.3 x 23.9 x 2 cm)
CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
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