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the different dynasties. From the Ist-VIth dynasty1 stela? are rectangular in form, and sometimes are made to resemble the outer facade of a temple. The inscriptions are comparatively short, and merely record the names of the relatives of the deceased who are represented on the stele, and the prayers to Osiris for cakes, bread, meat, wine, oil, milk, wax, bandages, ducks, oxen, etc., which are put into the mouth of the deceased. A remarkable inscription found in a tomb* of the Vlth dynasty is that of Una, who was born in the reign of Teta, and held service under this king; under Pepi, the successor of Teta, he brought stone from the quarries of Ruau, and conducted an expedition against the nomad tribes to the east of Egypt, and in the reign of the following king, Mer-en-Ra, he died full of days and honour. During the Xlth dynasty the stelae have many of the characteristics of those of the Vlth dynasty, but the execution is better. A large number Stelae of of the stelae of the Xllth dynasty are rounded, the inscriptions Middle and scenes are carefully executed, and are often painted with Empire, many colours; sometimes on the same stele the figures are in relief, while the inscriptions are incised. As a rule the contents of the inscriptions are repetitions of the titles of the deceased, praises of the king, bald statements of the work he has done for him, prayers to the god for sepulchral meals, and an address to those who pass by the stele to make mention of the dead man in appropriate funereal formulae. The scenes usually represent the several members of the family of the deceased bringing to him offerings of the various things for which he prays. From the Xllth-XVIIth dynasty,biographies on stelae3 are rare. Stelae of the Xlllth and XlVth dynasties are characterized by their uniformity of colour, when painted; the workmanship is, however, poor, the inscriptions are badly cut, and the hieroglyphics are thin and small. The stelae of the XVIIIth dynasty are usually rounded at the top, and have
1 The oldest stele known is preserved at Gizeh and at Oxford, and was made for Shera.'a priest of Sent, the fifth king of the Hnd dynasty, about B.C. 4000; it is figured in Lepsius, Auswahl, PI. 9.
3 Compare the interesting inscription published by Schiaparelli, Una tomba egiziana inedita, Rome, 1892.
3 The inscription of Chnemu-h :tep, one of the most valuable of this period, is inscribed on the walls of his tomb.
very little in common with those of older dynasties. In earlier times the deceased was represented as being surrounded by his parents, brothers and sisters, wife and servants, but at this epoch the gods take their places, and he stands alone before Osiris, god and judge of the dead. In many stelae of this period the name of the god Amen has been carefully chiselled out, by order of the " heretic king," Amenophis IV. A remarkable characteristic of stela; at this time is the length Stele of and fulness of the inscriptions upon them. In the earlier times, Amasis. prjvate matters in the life of the deceased were passed over with little or no mention; now, however, full biographies become the rule, and the inscriptions cover not only the stelae, but the walls of the chamber in which the mummies were laid. Sometimes such biographies are almost the only authorities for the history of a period, and the inscription of Amasis is an example of this class of documents. Amasis was a naval officer who was born about the time of the final war of the Egyptians against the Hyksos, and he was present at the capture of the town of Avaris, during the reign of Amasis I., king of Egypt. He was specially honoured by this king for his prowess in battle, and he served in various campaigns undertaken by his successors, Amenophis I., and Thothmes I. The stelae of the XlXth dynasty show a great falling off both in design and execution. The figures of men and women are poor, and their limbs are made out of all proportion to the rest of their bodies. The mode of wearing their clothes, too, has changed, a large portion of the body is entirely covered by the dress, and the figures wear a heavy head-dress, which falls squarely upon the shoulders. The hieroglyphics are carelessly engraved, and lack the spirit which indicates those of the XVIIIth dynasty. During the XXth dynasty the use of stelae appears not to have been so general, and from about B.C. 1000-650 they almost disappear. The stelae which belong to this period are few and small, and the designs are generally poor imitations of stelae of an older date. The cause of this decline is not quite evident, but it may be either the result of the disquietude caused by the unsettled condition of Egypt through foreign invasions, or the consequence of some religious schism. It will be noticed that ushabtiu figures, as well as stelae, become fewer and
poorer during this same period. The stelae of the XXVIth jjjel^of
dynasty exhibit the features which are characteristic of the Empire.
sculptures of this period. They occur in large numbers, they
are larger in size, the hieroglyphics are small, but cleanly cut,
and they have a beauty which is in itself sufficient to proclaim
the time to which they belong. The inscriptions are copied
from ancient texts, and as neither the scribe nor the sculptor
understood at times what he was writing, frequent mistakes
are the result. After the XXVIth dynasty stelae were made
of all possible designs and forms; the hieroglyphics are badly
cut, the inscriptions are the ordinary formulae, in which the
deceased prays for sepulchral meals, and it is quite clear that
the placing of a stele in the tomb had become a mere matter
of form with the greater number of the Egyptians. In Ptolemaic
times ancient models were copied, but the inscriptions are as
often in Greek or demotic, or both, as in hieroglyphics. Stelae
bearing bilingual inscriptions, in hieroglyphics and Greek, or
hieroglyphics and Phoenician, are also known. Subsequently
it became the fashion to make the figures of the gods on
stelae in high relief, and the attributes and costumes of Greek
gods were applied to those of Egypt.
The greater number of the wooden stelae in European
museums belong to the XXVIth and subsequent dynasties.
They are rounded at the top, they usually stand upon two
pedestals having steps on each side, and they vary in size
from 6 ia by 4 in. to 3 ft. by 20 in. The inscriptions and Ornamen.
7 11 ..... , tation of
scenes upon them are usually painted in white, green, red, stela
yellow, or black, upon a light or dark brown ground. On the xxvith
back are at times figures of the sun shedding rays ^ and dynasty.
standards of the east i| and west ^. The large tablets have three registers; in the first are the winged disk Sse? , with pendent uraei wearing the crowns of the north and south, the jackal-headed gods Anubis and Ap-uat, emblems of
"life" and "power" | ^ |, etc.; in the second register are the
boat of the sun, in which stand a number of gods, Ra, Horns, Chepera, Maat, Anubis, etc., and the deceased, or his soul, kneeling at a table of offerings in front of the boat in adoration of Ra; in the third register the deceased makes adoration to a number of gods, and below this comes the inscription. The smaller, and more numerous, tablets have in the rounded part, the winged disk with pendent uraei, and the inscription 5=5 © ^37 Behutet neb pet "[Horus of] Behutet, lord of heaven." The scene which follows is divided into two parts: in the one the deceased stands or kneels by the side of an altar in adoration before Ra-Har
machis , and in the other he adores Nefer-Atmu. Below
the scenes are two inscriptions which read from the middle of the tablet to the sides, and contain, the one an address or prayer to Ra when he rises, the other, an address to Ra when he sets. Frequently a tablet is inscribed with the prayer to Ra-Harmachis and Nefer-Atmu for sepulchral meals. Inlaid Wooden stelae were sometimes inlaid with glass figures
ste and hieroglyphics of various colours in imitation of the scenes
and inscriptions on tablets of an earlier date. A remark
able example of this class of work is B.M. 5—25 which,
according to Dr. Birch, is inscribed with the name of Darius, and represents this king making offerings to Anubis, who is seated on a throne under a winged disk and stars; behind the god is Isis, with horns on her head, and a sceptre in her hand.
Slaze*l'n That sepulchral stelae were sometimes made of glazed faience. faTence, we know from B.M. No. 6133, a fine example of a light blue colour, in which the deceased Amen-em-apt, a royal scribe, is standing in adoration before the god Osiris, who holds a flail and crook. This interesting object was probably made about B.C. 1000, when the art of making glazed faience of a fine blue or green colour was at its greatest perfection.
The Vases found in Egyptian tombs are made of alabaster, diorite, granite, basalt and other kinds of hard stone, steatite, bronze, wood, terra-cotta, faience, and glass. The shapes of vases are various, but the following are the most