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Sandstone stela of year 1 of Sety I


Height: 126.500 cm
Width: 83.000 cm

Gift of Sir Charles Holled Smith

EA 1189

Room 65: Sudan, Egypt & Nubia

    Sandstone stela of year 1 of Sety I

    Found at Wadi Halfa but originally from Buhen, Nubia
    19th Dynasty, around 1300 BC

    An endowment to the Temple of Buhen

    The site of Buhen had been occupied by the Egyptians since the Old Kingdom (about 2613-2160 BC); there is a town site from this period. A fortress was built at Buhen in the Middle Kingdom (2040-1750 BC). In the early Eighteenth Dynasty (about 1550-1295 BC) the fortress was reoccupied and redeveloped, and stone temples constructed on the site. Buhen was an important strategic site: access to a number of significant quarries and mines in the Eastern Desert could be supervised and a watchful eye could be kept on activity in the Western Desert.

    The stela of Sety I (reigned 1294-1279 BC) is dated to the first year of his reign, and details a new endowment made by the king to the cults of Buhen. The primary cult to benefit was that of the composite god Min-Amun; both Amun and Min are shown in the scene at the top of the stela, along with Isis. The endowment consisted of daily offerings of food, along with priests and servants. This pious activity is typical of the beginning of a new reign. However, an increase in activity at Buhen, and in Nubia generally, is evident at the beginning of the Nineteenth Dynasty (about 1295-1186 BC). This perhaps indicates a reassertion of Egyptian authority after the religious disruption of the Amarna Period in the latter part of the Eighteenth Dynasty.

    K.A. Kitchen, Ramesside inscriptions, vol. 1 (Oxford, Blackwell, 1982-83)

    M.L. Bierbrier (ed.), Hieroglyphic texts from Egyp-6, Part 10 (London, The British Museum Press, 1982)