About this object

Round topped wooden stela mounted on two plinths with a figure of a ba bird pegged into the top of the stela. The wood is covered with white gesso and painted in red, blue, green and black. Below the winged disk are two figures of Anubis as a jackal. In the scene below, the deceased, Nesshutefnut, on the right is making an offering to seven deities. From right to left these are Osiris, Isis, Nephthys, Re-Harakhte, Hathor, Anubis and Wepwawet. The inscription, in six lines, is a hymn in praise of the sun god, Re-Harakhte, at his rising. Such hymns occur frequently on stelae of this period, but usually the god to whom the hymn is addressed is shown immediately in front of the deceased who utters this hymn. In this scene, however, Osiris is in this position, and Re-Harakhte stands fourth in the line of gods.

The mummy and coffin of Nesshutefnut (also known as Ruru) prophet of Khonsu, prophet of Horus, son of Iyhor and Teni, were found at Hissayeh in Upper Egypt during excavations undertaken there by Professor John Garstang and Harold Jones in February/March 1905. In the same tomb were a painted wooden stele, a canopic chest and a Ptah-Soker-Osiris figure. An unpublished photograph shows the relative position of the contents of the rock-cut tomb when it was opened. The coffin was lying against the side wall with the Ptah-Soker-Osiris figure close to the right of the head. Between the Ptah-Soker-Osiris figure and the canopic chest was the stela.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
    Ptolemaic Period
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Hissayeh
  • Date made
    About 332 BC
  • Materials
    Paint; Wood; Gesso
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Presented by the General Committee of the Institute of Archaeology, Liverpool
  • Collector
    Liverpool University Institute of Archaeology
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Hissayeh
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    410 mm x 312 mm x 160 mm
  • Note
    Found at Hissayeh in Upper Egypt during excavations undertaken there by Harold Jones for Professor John Garstang early in 1905.
  • Related people
    Harold [Ernest] Jones (Previous owner); Liverpool University Institute of Archaeology (Collector, previous owner)

Where is this object from?

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  • Liverpool Excavations at Hissayeh, 1905

    Start date: 1905-02
    End date: 1905-02
    Description: Excavations directed by John Garstang of the University of Liverpool Institute of Archaeology on behalf of the Egyptian Excavations Committee and the Institute of Archaeology in 1905. Hissayeh is a cemetery about 15 km south of Edfu in Upper Egypt. In a fieldwork report to members of the excavation committee, dated 5th March 1905, Prof. John Garstang records that towards the end of February his assistant, Mr Harold Jones, took a tent, 80 men and equipment to Hissayeh. Garstang had already examined the site and had found it to be very much plundered. On page 4 of his report he notes, “It seemed, however, desirable to look over the necropolis carefully to make sure it was exhausted and to ascertain anything possible concerning its history. Few tombs of the Ptolemaic character proved to have escaped plunder and in one of them Mr Jones found attached to a mummy a hieroglyphic papyrus. (I consequently joined him in camp at Hissayeh where we are now). The papyrus is a nice roll in good condition. The text is well written and the illustrations in pen and ink apparently without colour. It seems to be The Book of the Dead but I have not dealt with it yet. Another was found two days ago, unfortunately flat, and difficult to preserve. Some small wooden objects (2 stelae) and one or two good wooden sarcophagi, modelled to human shape and decorated with scenes of ritual and religion have been found. Also some excellent pottery."


Previous owners

  • Liverpool University Institute of Archaeology

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1905-12-13
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Harold [Ernest] Jones

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: Unknown or unrecorded
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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