Height: 45.000 cm
Width: 24.000 cm
Gift of the
Room 64: Early Egypt
Limestone stela of Nefer
From a subsidiary tomb at Abydos,
1st Dynasty, around 2900 BC
Servant of King Semerkhet
Examinations have been made of human remains from the subsidiary burials of the earlier First Dynasty tomb of Aha at Abydos, which seems to indicate that people buried there did not die naturally, as they were all about the same age (25 years) at death. It is possible that servants were killed and buried with their king to accompany him into the next world. This practice does not seem to have lasted beyond the formative years of Egyptian culture, as human sacrifice had no place in mainstream ancient Egyptian beliefs.
Compare this with the stela of the Second Dynasty king, Peribsen, also in The British Museum.
A.J. Spencer, Catalogue of Egyptian antiqu-4 (London, The British Museum Press, 1980)
A.J. Spencer, Early Egypt, The rise of civil (London, The British Museum Press, 1993)