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Donation Stela of Shabaqo

Period:
Late Period, Kushite
Dynasty:
Dynasty 25
Reign:
reign of Shabaqo
Date:
ca. 712–698 B.C.
Geography:
Possibly from Nubia; From Egypt and Sudan
Medium:
Limestone
Dimensions:
h. 36 cm (14 3/16 in); w. 22.5 cm (8 7/8 in); th. 6 cm (2 3/8 in)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1955
Accession Number:
55.144.6
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 125
From the Third Intermediate Period through the Saite Period a large number of stelae are preserved that, like this one, record the donation of land to temples. These give an unusually rich view into temple and land organization. Most often non-royal persons actually made the gift, and the gift was probably destined for the support of the donor's funerary cult. The donation was generally made through an intermediary somehow attached to the temple and who must have derived some benefit for his agency. For reasons of decorum, usually the reigning king was depicted as the official donor in the scene at the top. Probably because of the nature of land development, almost all such stelae relate to areas in the north of the country.

On this stela the pharaoh Shabaqo offers the hieroglyph for "field" to the god Horus of Pe and the goddess Wadjet, divinities of Buto, a city in the Nile delta. The text, which is mostly in hieratic - the cursive form of Egyptian writing, records a land donation by a man named Bakenatum on behalf of Paleles.
Ex collection Tigrane Pasha (d. 1904). Purchased by the Museum from Michel Abeymayor, New York, 1955.

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