Skip Navigation

Stela of Setju

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

False doors in the tomb led to the afterlife. They were a suitable place for offerings. Sethew, a very high palace official, here sits before an offering table stacked with loaves of bread in the shape of the hieroglyph for the word “field,” the source of food for offerings. The surrounding inscription promises him very large quantities of food, beverages, clothing, cosmetics, and ritual oils needed in the afterlife.
MEDIUM Limestone, pigment
  • Reportedly From: Giza, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 2500–2350 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 5
    PERIOD Old Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 22 1/16 x 20 1/2 x 4 15/16 in., 119 lb. (56 x 52 x 12.5 cm, 54kg)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Stela inscribed for a man named Setju. The owner is represented seated before a table with offerings and inscriptions promising offerings. Condition: Broken in two pieces. Some staining around the join has occurred. Upper left hand edge much chipped and parts of hieroglyphs are missing. Lower right hand corner (flaring molding) broken off. Chips in molding under seated figure. Wig retains black paint. Green collar evident. Surface is chipped and green paint also evident along left side of relief (edge). Face badly chipped.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Stela of Setju, ca. 2500–2350 B.C.E. Limestone, pigment, 22 1/16 x 20 1/2 x 4 15/16 in., 119 lb. (56 x 52 x 12.5 cm, 54kg). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.34E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: , 37.34E_PS9.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 37.34E_PS9.jpg., 2018
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
    You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form (charges apply). For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact
    Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.