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Granite stela of Hor and Suty


Height: 146.000 cm
Width: 90.000 cm
Depth: 29.000 cm

EA 826

Ancient Egypt and Sudan

    Granite stela of Hor and Suty

    Possibly from Thebes, Egypt
    18th Dynasty, around 1350 BC

    'Overseers of Works of Amun' in the reign of Amenhotep III

    Hor and Suty were twin brothers who held the titles of 'Overseer of Works' of Amun in Thebes, and in Karnak in particular. They set up this large stela to themselves. The frame is inscribed with invocations for funerary offerings; the central area shows the brothers offering to Osiris and Anubis, above twenty-one lines of a hymn to the sun-god Re. It would appear that these twins divided the work to be done between them.

    The stela is particularly important as evidence for the development of solar theology during the New Kingdom (about 1550-1070 BC). In this period increasing importance was placed in the life-giving qualities of the light of the sun-god, and in the physical manifestation of the sun, the disc known in Egyptian as Aten. Many scholars believe that this reached its peak with the so-called 'heretic pharaoh' Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV), much of whose religious beliefs seem to have been devoted to the worship of the disc and its light.

    At some later date it seems that Hor and Suty fell out of favour, since both their figures and most examples of their names have been carefully erased. The defacement of inscriptions was a common practice in ancient Egypt.

    M. Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian literature: a, 3 vols. (University of California Press, 1973-1980)

    J. Assmann (trans. A. Alcock), Egyptian solar religion in the (London and New York, KPI, 1995)

    S. Quirke and A.J. Spencer, The British Museum book of anc (London, The British Museum Press, 1992)


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