Funerary Stela of Intef and Senettekh
Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
On View: Old Kingdom to 18th Dynasty, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
In this stela from their tomb, Intef and his wife Senettekh are shown with an image of their pet dog under their chair. Including such an image was a more common way of memorializing the family pet than mummification.
The two of them sit before an offering table. It is piled high with (from bottom to top) beer jars, round loaves of bread, and animal products. A beef foreleg covers the bread. A bull’s head and a whole duck form the next layer. Green onions and another beef cut lie above that. A dorcas gazelle head, a lettuce leaf, another animal head, and a beef roast with a bone form the top layer. In reality, these offerings would have been mummified and placed in the tomb.
ca. 2065-2000 B.C.E.
First Intermediate Period to Middle Kingdom
11 3/4 x 13 15/16 x 15/16 in. (29.8 x 35.4 x 2.4 cm) (show scale)
Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
Limestone stela of Intef, son of Senbet and his wife Senet-Tek, erected by their son Intef. The steward Imy stands opposite. Intef and his wife seated at left before table of offerings; a dog seated under the woman. Imy stands at right with long staff grasped in right hand. At top, three lines of offering formula. Names incised over each person. Raised relief.
Condition: Edges chipped. Surface slightly worn in area of offerings. No trace of color.
Funerary Stela of Intef and Senettekh, ca. 2065-2000 B.C.E. Limestone, 11 3/4 x 13 15/16 x 15/16 in. (29.8 x 35.4 x 2.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 54.66. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum (Gavin Ashworth,er), 54.66_Gavin_Ashworth_photograph.jpg)
overall, 54.66_Gavin_Ashworth_photograph.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph (Gavin Ashworth, photographer), 2012
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Since ancient Egyptians thought animals had souls, were many vegetarians?
There is significant evidence that ancient Egyptians ate meat. The "Stela of Intef and Senettekh" shows a table of offerings which includes multiple types of meat, including cow and goat.
Ancient hypocrisy! Did they have pets as we think of them?
They did indeed. If you look at the same stela, in fact, you will see a dog waiting below the two figures under their chair!