Limestone stela of Horemheb

From Saqqara, Egypt
18th Dynasty, around 1320 BC

Horemheb was one of the most powerful figures in the reign of Tutankhamun (about 1336-1327 BC). He would have supported the general return to the religious practices of the mainstream Eighteenth Dynasty following the interlude of the Amarna Period. He was a general, and, along with many of his important contemporaries, such as the treasurer Maya, chose to be buried in the necropolis (cemetery) of the capital city of Memphis, at Saqqara. The location of the tomb of Horemheb, although known earlier in the century, was lost until 1975. When Tutankhamun died childless, another important official, Ay, took the throne. On his death, the throne passed to Horemheb; as king, it was not appropriate that he be buried in Saqqara, and he constructed a tomb instead in the Valley of the Kings.

This stela, from the rear of the first colonnaded court of the tomb, shows Horemheb worshipping Re-Horakhty, Thoth and Maat. Beneath is the text of a hymn to the sun, the longest preserved inscription from the tomb. It begins:

'Adoring Re, satisfying him when it rises. The hereditary prince Horemheb, he says: 'Hail to you, who are benficial and effective, Atum-Harakhty. When you have appeared in the horizon of the sky, praises to you are in the mouth(s) of everyone, for you are beautiful and rejuvenated as the disk int he embrace of your mother Hathor. Appear everywhere, your heart being glad forever! The two Conclaves come to you, bowing, they give adoration to your rising. How beautiful is your rising in the horizon of the sky, you have bestrewn the Two Lands [with] turquoise.'

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More information


G.T. Martin, The hidden tombs of Memphis: n (London, Thames and Hudson, 1991)

G.T. Martin, The Memphite tomb of Horemheb (London, Egypt Exporation Society, 1989)


Height: 195.000 cm (max.)
Width: 100.000 cm (max.)

Museum number

EA 551



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