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Stela of Djefi and Ankhenes-ites

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

This stela combines several elements in one stela. Djefi and his wife Ankhenes-ites stand before an offering table that bears the hieroglyphic sign for the word “field,” the source of food offerings. The inscription on the right is the offering prayer promising them bread and beer in the afterlife. The inscription continues with a sentence normally found in a tomb biography: “I am beloved of my father and praised of my mother every day.” Thus, Djefi and Ankhenes-ites have combined in one stela the offering table, the inspection scene, and biography elements that would have been separate in a more elite tomb.
MEDIUM Limestone, pigment
  • Place Collected: Girga, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 2170–2008 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 7 to Dynasty 11
    PERIOD First Intermediate Period
    DIMENSIONS 16 x 21 1/2 x 3 3/4 in., 59 lb. (40.6 x 54.6 x 9.5 cm, 26.76kg) dimensions when mounted: 16 × 21 × 4 1/2 in. (40.6 × 53.3 × 11.4 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Roughly rectangular limestone stela representing a couple Djefi and his wife Ankhenesites, facing right, with lines of inscriptions, containing a common offering formula and the man’s name, Dfj, as well as the woman’s, Ankh-sit-es. They both face right with left feet advanced, both wearing wigs, her left arm is clasped around his torso, right at her side, he holds a long staff in his left hand and a shorter raised staff? in the right Inscriptions: Before the male figure: Im;hy Dfi Before the figure of Djefi: Htp (di) ns’w ‘Inpw tpy dw.f imy-wt t; Dsr prt-hrw t hnkt n im;hy Dfi dd.(f) ink mry n it.f hsy n mwt.f f’ nb. “A boon which the King gives (and which) Anubis (gives) (Anubis) on top of his mountain, He who is in the Imy-wet, the Lord of the Necropolis, invocation offerings consisting of bread and bear to the revered one Djefi; (he) says “I am beloved of my father and praised of my mother every day”. Before the figure of the woman: hmt.f mrr.f ? ns’w ‘Ang.s-n-it.s. Condition: Remains of color on figures and hieroglyphs. Uneven background is somewhat rough. Chips missing on edges all around. Small damages on chest and kilt of male figure and on right arm of female figure. UV examination shows possible repair to areas in front of kilt of male figure, tip of kilt and left knee.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Stela of Djefi and Ankhenes-ites, ca. 2170–2008 B.C.E. Limestone, pigment, 16 x 21 1/2 x 3 3/4 in., 59 lb. (40.6 x 54.6 x 9.5 cm, 26.76kg). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 69.74.1. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 69.74.1_PS2.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 69.74.1_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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