Limestone stela of Sebekaa
From Thebes, Egypt
Dynasty, around 2050 BC
would probably have been set up in a very simple rock tomb.
Unusually, in addition to the normal prayers and biographical
statements, it displays a range of scenes including butchers,
bakers, and the presentation of offerings to the deceased. In
effect, a whole set of scenes that would normally decorate the tomb
walls are being placed on a stela. The reason for this is probably
that Sebekaa, like most of his contemporaries, did not have the
means to build a tomb, and thus this stela took on a much greater
One scene is
extremely unusual. In the centre, to the left, is a bed or bier on
which lies a man. On top of this man lies a much smaller figure.
The nature of this scene is not clear, but it might relate to
certain spells in the
Texts. The man on the
bed is probably the deceased, and the figure on top of him might be
one of a variety of goddesses, such as
who embrace him. Whether there are any sexual connotations in this
scene is uncertain.
T.G.H. James (ed.), Hieroglyphic texts from Egyp-9, Part 1, 2nd edition (London, The British Museum Press, 1961)
M. Stead, Egyptian life (London, The British Museum Press, 1986)