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Stela of Two Deified Men(?)

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

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

The small figure in the lower right is a pharaoh offering to four small Egyptian deities and two large figures holding bows and signs of life, probably deified humans. It has been suggested they are the brothers Pedisi and Pihor, Nubian princes deified after death. They were the major focus of the cult in the Temple of Dendur, a site in lower Nubia where Egyptian deities were also worshiped. The Dendur Temple was built between 23 and 10 B.C., when Egypt controlled lower Nubia and the Emperor Augustus was pharaoh of Egypt.

The style of the stela's figures, their facial features, and the bold carving and heavy forms are related to many works in Egypt of late Ptolemaic (first century B.C.) and Roman times. However, this style is also found in contemporary works from Egyptian-controlled lower Nubia, and the stela is of Nubian sandstone.

CULTURES Egyptian; Nubian
MEDIUM Sandstone
  • Possible Place Collected: Northern region, Egypt
  • DATES late 1st century B.C.E.–early 1st century C.E.
    PERIOD Roman Period
    DIMENSIONS 34 5/16 x 31 7/16 x 4 5/16 in. (87.2 x 79.9 x 10.9 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Large, round-topped sandstone stela with nine figures in raised relief. Condition: Scratch, six inches long, at lower left side. Old chips around bottom, upper left, and lower and upper right; diagonal crack from upper left edge to top, just right of center closed with gray cement to which many small pieces and chips have been reattached. Surface discolored; attached iron plate rusting; surface pitted.
    CAPTION Egyptian. Stela of Two Deified Men(?), late 1st century B.C.E.–early 1st century C.E. Sandstone, 34 5/16 x 31 7/16 x 4 5/16 in. (87.2 x 79.9 x 10.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 76.8. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: , CUR.76.8_NegA_print_bw.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, CUR.76.8_NegA_print_bw.jpg.
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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