Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Stela of Two Brothers

Period:
Middle Kingdom
Dynasty:
Dynasty 12
Date:
ca. 1981–1802 B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Asasif, Tomb MMA 710, MMA excavations, 1912–13
Medium:
Limestone, paint
Dimensions:
H. 72.7 cm (28 5/8 in.); W. 61 cm (24 in.); D. 14 cm (5 1/2 in.)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1935
Accession Number:
35.3.112
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 109
This beautifully executed round-topped stela, reconstructed from fragments, belongs to a man on the right, whose name is now missing, and his brother, Dedusobek, shown on the left. The owner was clearly a high official to deserve such a high quality monument, and his status is reflected in his long string of titles and epithets that are inscribed on the third to fifth lines: “elite member…, controller of every kilt, privy to the [divine writing?], imy-khenet staff in every robing room…, overseer of the double granary, favorite of the king in every work….” Dedusobek’s administrative titles, inscribed on the left half of the sixth and seventh lines included that of chamberlain. Wearing identical broad collars and calf-length kilts with triangular front panels, the two brothers stand face to face and raise their arms in adoration, presumably of the god Osiris mentioned in the inscription above them. Between the two men is a table laden with a sumptuous amount of food offerings, including a leg of beef, different types of bread, a cucumber, lettuce, green onions, and a fowl. The table stands inside a rack, along with four tall slender jars called heset, which were used for libation. The edge of the stela is decorated with a block border. Although it is now colorless, the whole scene would have been painted.
Excavated by the Egyptian Expedition of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1934–1935. Acquired by the Museum in the division of finds, 1935.

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