Relief from the Funerary Chapel of Sehetepibre 

13th Dynasty, Middle Kingdom

c.1802-1640 BC

The “overseer of troops” Sehetepibre, son of Satankhu was the owner of a commemorative chapel that housed two relief slabs in the collection. On these slabs, he is seen seated at an offering table, and members of his family are depicted as mummies.
Althought hieroglyphs could be written in either direction, the preference was to write from right to left. Thus, the list of Sehetepibre’s family begins at the right of this slab with the two larger mummies identified as Sehetepibre himself and the “lady of the house” Djehutihotep (perhaps his wife). Beside them, from right to left are the couple’s daughter Satankhu; Seka, son of Satmay; Seshemi, daughter of Setankhu; Senebes, daughter of Gifit; and the “overseer of troops” Khentikheti, son of Renesankh.

(Source: The Metropolitan Museum)

Funerary stele of Licinia Amias, one of the most ancient Christian inscriptionsearly 3rd c. CE. From the area of the Vatican necropolis, Rome..

Upper tier: dedication to the “Dis Manibus" and Christian motto in Greek letters ΙΧΘΥC ΖΩΝΤΩΝ / Ikhthus zōntōn ("fish of the living").

Middle tier: depiction of fish and an anchor.

Lower tier: Latin inscription “LICINIAE AMIATI BE/NEMERENTI VIXIT”, (Licinia Amias lived meritoriously)


Funerary stele from Third Intermediate Period

This wooded stele is covered with gesso and was then painted with red, black, blue, yellow and green. The woman in giving offering (libation) to the god Re-Horahkte. Between them stands an offering table which is filled with fruits, vegetables and other foodstuffs. Re-Horahkte has the sundisk on his head with the ureaus on it. The influence of the Third Intermediate period can be seen because of the lack of convention, when there is no strong state there are no strict rules about how to create a stele. It is 24.5cm high, 19cm wide and 7.8cm deep ( 9 5/8 x 7 ½ x 3 1/16 inch).

Egyptian, Third Intermediate Period, dynasty 22, 945 – 712 BC

Location of discovery is unsure, maybe Thebes. Found in 1903.

Source: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston  


Ancient Art Week!

Funerary Stele with a Woman in Childbirth

Early Hellenistic Greece (c. late 4th–early 3rd century B.C.E.)

Limestone, paint; H. 29 in. (73.6 cm)

From the Soldiers’ Tomb, Ibrahimieh necropolis, Alexandria, excavated 1884.

A woman falls back on a fabric-covered chair, her lower body draped in a red mantle with pink border and a white robe, her upper body exposed. She is supported by two female attendants, one on either side. The woman at left holds her right arm while another woman standing behind her supports her under the left arm. Both attendants wear white robes covered with brown mantles.

This scene of physical duress depicts a woman dying in childbirth. Such stark expressions of physical grief and suffering, though generally uncommon in Greek art of this period, are evident in a small group of sculpted late Classical grave stelai with this subject.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Archaeological Museum of Aegina, Kolona:

Funerary reliefs:

The fragment at the left is the earliest known representation of “dexiosis”. The deceased is presented enthroned, holding a pomegranate in her hand. Before her stands her husband. (c. 500 B.C)

Funerary stele with a pedimental top. The stele follows the type of the insular tombstones, where the deceased is presented with his dog, or as an athlete. The youth is shown enveloped in his himation, wearing sandals. The dog stands beside him. With his right hand he caresses the head of a slave-boy that faces him. From an Aegina workshop that follows Parian models. (Middle 5th century B.C)


Archaeological Museum of Aegina, Kolona:

A funerary stele of the “rich style” depicting a scene of “dexiosis”. The deceased is seated, greeting a standing woman. A fine work of the 5th century B.C.