Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Rectangular section of black siltstone architecture of Nectanebo I: decorated on both sides in sunk relief with offering scenes above a niche-patterned dado and crowned by a cavetto cornice. Atop the cornice, on the better-preserved side of this slab, a row of falcons faced forward; only the legs and feet have survived. The corresponding decoration on the other side has been lost, but it probably consisted of a row of erect cobras. The more damaged side was decorated with an offering scene and part of another one. To the left, an animal-headed god stands facing right. The king kneels before him in a semi-prostrate position, with one leg extended back. At the right is another standing god from a second, similar scene. The inscriptions name the king as Nectanebo I. The damage inflicted on this side is of several kinds and may have occurred several times during antiquity. The figures have been attacked with a chisel, though the inscriptions were left intact. The protruding parts of the cornice were cut back to make a flat surface, presumably an adaptation for reuse. The better-preserved side, also inscribed for Nectanebo I, has a single figure of the king kneeling to present a tall loaf of bread. This pose, like the semi-prostrate position, was traditional for kings making offerings. The pose has been designed to show only one leg and an inadequate number of toes. The modeling of Nectanebo's body, with the breast, rib cage, and round abdomen as discrete units, follows the style of the late Twenty-sixth Dynasty. Characteristically Thirtieth Dynasty, however, is the representation of the hands with their long, waving fingers. The most noteworthy feature of this figure is its head - crowned only with a very unusual tight-fitting cap and a uraeus.The face is striking, both beaky and jowly, with the eye set in a large, round socket; small, rather delicate nostril and lips; and the hint of a double chin. It is understandable that this face is usually considered to be a portrait likeness of Nectanebo, especially since the same features are depicted on the two other architectural slabs that bear his name and image. Two holes have been drilled in the slab.


  • Authority

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 370BC (circa)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 122.6 centimetres (max)
    • Width: 95.5 centimetres (max)
    • Depth: 38 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Script

      • Inscription Position

      • Inscription Comment

  • Curator's comments

    This architectural slab is one of five examples. Although all five slabs had been removed in antiquity from their original site, some of the inscriptions suggest that they were made for a structure in Heliopolis. Since the earlier and later examples are the same size and have identical architectural decoration, in addition to their very similar figural scenes, all were apparently part of the same structure. They are usually referred to as intercolumnar slabs - that is, low screen walls between huge columns at the entrances to late temples. But such a wall is typically a single piece of stone. On some of these slabs, scenes, such as that begun to the right on the damaged side of this slab, were carried over onto a second block. This fact lends support to the theory that they formed "a long, low barrier at Heliopolis.

    Frequenty illustrated. Often erroneously referred to as "intercolumnar".To be included in the 'Musee achemenide virtuel et interactif' (see


  • Bibliography

    • Yoyotte 1998 bibliographic details
    • Yoyotte 2003 bibliographic details
    • Leclant 1981 fig. 63 bibliographic details
    • Budge 1909 p 250, [96] bibliographic details
    • Yorke and Leake 1826 p. 10, pl. 10, fig. 27 bibliographic details
    • Arnold 1999 p. 106, p.108, fig.60 bibliographic details
    • Russmann 2001 p. 134 bibliographic details
    • Morigi Govi and Sassatelli 1984 p. 152 bibliographic details
    • Quirke 1990 p. 18, p. 40 bibliographic details
    • Porter and Moss 1934 p. 2, p. 5- wrongly as BM '998' bibliographic details
    • Robins 1997 p. 232, fig. 279 bibliographic details
    • Kayser 1994 p. 242, no. 79 bibliographic details
    • Grimal 1992 p. 378, pl. 24 bibliographic details
    • Habachi 1943 p. 390 bibliographic details
    • Russman et al. 2006 p. 60, cat no. 19 bibliographic details
    • Török 1987 p. 63, no. 15 bibliographic details
    • Mysliwiec 1988 p. 69, p. 79, p. 123 bibliographic details
    • Bresciani 1975 p. 72 bibliographic details
    • Bothmer 1960 p. 91 bibliographic details
    • Smith 1958 pp. 249− 50, pl.184 bibliographic details
    • Strudwick 2006 pp. 282-283 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G4/B29

  • Exhibition history


    2006 7 Sept-26 Nov, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Temples & Tombs
    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

  • Condition


  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    From the collection of E.W. Montagu, via that of the Earl of Bute (Thompson, Letters on the British Museum (1767): 6).

  • Department

    Ancient Egypt & Sudan

  • BM/Big number


  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • ES.22
COMPASS Title: Basalt slab of Nectanebo I


COMPASS Title: Basalt slab of Nectanebo I

Image description



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Object reference number: YCA69130

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