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Stela of a Woman Named Niseret

Early Dynastic
Dynasty 1
reign of Djer
ca. 3050 B.C.
From Egypt, Northern Upper Egypt, Abydos, Umm el-Qaab, Tomb of Djer (subsidiary tomb of Ni-seret), Egypt Exploration Fund excavations
H. 38.2 x W. 23.7 x D. 12.5 cm (15 1/16 x 9 5/16 x 4 15/16 in.)
Credit Line:
Gift of Egypt Exploration Fund, 1901
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 101
This stela bears the name of a woman who lived in the early days of the Egyptian state. Her stela was found in the royal cemetery in Abydos, which yielded approximately 360 similar stelae, the majority of which belonging to women.
The surface of the stela is weatherworn, but one can still make out the three hieroglyph and the image of a squatting woman, carved in larger proportions. The reading of the name is difficult to translate, as the hieroglyphs belong to the earliest stages of the writing system, before more standard forms were introduced. Thus, her name has been previously rendered as Senba, Niseret, and Nitkhnum. Her figure acts both on the visual level and on the level of the script, serving as a classifier (determinative) for women.
Egypt Exploration Fund excavations. Acquired by the EEF in the division of finds. Acquired by the Museum through subscription to the EEF, 1901.

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