- Museum number
Limestone fragmentary stela with Akhenaten: Akhenaten is slouched on a low-backed, cushioned chair with side struts in the form of the ancient royal symbol for the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt, which is partly obscured by the long sash of his pleated kilt. The Aten disk was above him, in the centre of the stela. The hands at the ends of its rays reach out to bless its self-proclaimed son. One of Akhenaten's hands was raised, apparently toward a small figure in front of him, who would have been one of his six daughters by Nefertiti. Almost certainly, the complete composition showed Nefertiti seated opposite her husband, and probably more of the royal daughters. Akhenaten's names are written in the cartouches before his face. The delicacy of the features and the round breast, which prompted some early observers to suggest that it represents Nefertiti (whose name appears with Akhenaten's in the framing inscriptions), are simply a softened version of his scrawny and strangely androgynous physique. Such details as the large, heavy-lidded eye suggest that the stela was made late in his reign. He is represented with a short, round, curled wig, unusual for this ruler. The fragment has been reassembled from the two pieces into which it was broken. Traces of paint are still visible: blue on the king's wig, the hieroglyphs and the dividing lines, and red on the king's body, the streamers, girdle and cushion.
- Production date
- 1350BC (circa)
Height: 28 centimetres (with base)
Height: 24 centimetres
Weight: 2.20 kilograms
Width: 14.70 centimetres
Depth: 5.50 centimetres
- Inscription subject
- Curator's comments
- Attached to 1933,0321.1.
B. Porter & R. Moss, 'Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Reliefs and Paintings' IV (Oxford, 1934), p. 233;
The British Museum, 'Hieroglyphic texts from Egyptian stelae, etc., in the British Museum ' Part 8 (London, 1939), pp/ 26-27, pl. 23;
'Temples and Tombs' [exhibition catalogue] (American Federation of Arts, 2006), 56, cat no.14;
S. Quirke, 'Ancient Egyptian Religion' (London, 1992), fig. 24, p. 43.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2006 21 Dec-2007 18 Mar, Jackonsville, Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, Temples & Tombs
2007 15 Apr-8 Jul, Raleigh, North Carolina Museum of Art, Temples & Tombs
2007 16 Nov-2008 10 Feb, New Mexico, Albuquerque Museum, Temples & Tombs
2008/9 Oct-Feb, Geneva, Musee d'art et d'histoire, Akhenaten.
2009 Feb-Jun, Turin, Palazzo Bricherasio, Akhenaten
2014 24 July -26 October, Oxford, Ashmolean Museum, Discovering Tutankhamun
- Acquisition date
- Egypt and Sudan
- BM/Big number
- Registration number