Egyptians believed that the soul of the deceased could freely enter and exit the tomb through a "false door," which was characterized by a recessed surface with a symbolic entrance in the center. By the early Middle Kingdom, the false door design was combined with other elements on rectangular stelae. This First Intermediate Period monument exemplifies the beginning of that process. The texts inscribed on the jambs flanking the double door proclaim the owner’s good deeds and accomplishments.
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Title:False Door of the Royal Sealer Neferiu
Period:Old Kingdom–First Intermediate Period
Date:ca. 2150–2010 B.C.
Geography:From Egypt; Probably from Northern Upper Egypt, Dendera area
Dimensions:H. 115.5 cm (45 1/2 in.); W. 67.3 cm (26 1/2 in.); D. 12.6 cm (4 15/16 in.)
Credit Line:Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1912
Purchased in Egypt from Abd el-Nour Gharial by J. Pierpont Morgan and donated to the Museum, 1912.
Petrie, William Matthew Flinders, Sir 1900. Dendereh, 1898, Memoir of the Egypt Exploration Fund, 17. London and Boston: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner, & Co., Ltd..
Hayes, William C. 1953. Scepter of Egypt I: A Background for the Study of the Egyptian Antiquities in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: From the Earliest Times to the End of the Middle Kingdom. Cambridge, Mass.: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 139–40, fig. 82.
Fischer, Henry G. 1957. "A God and a General of the Oasis on a Stela of the Late Middle Kingdom." In Journal of Near Eastern Studies, 16, p. 224 n. 6.
Fischer, Henry G. 1961. Kush, 9. 1961. p. 52 n. 10.
Fischer, Henry G. 1968. Dendera in the third millennium B.C., down to the Theban domination of upper Egypt. Locust Valley, New York: J. J. Augustin.
Fischer, Henry G. 1977. The Orientation of Hieroglyphs, Egyptian Studies, 2. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 125 nn. 409-10.
Brovarski, Edward J. 1983. "A stele of the First Intermediate Period from Naga-ed-Dêr." In Medelhavsmuseet Bulletin, 18, 18 (1983), 7.
Fischer, Henry G. 1995. "The Protodynastic Period and Old Kingdom in the Metropolitan Museum of Art." In Kunst des Alten Reiches: Symposium im Deutschen Archäologischen Institut Kairo am 29. und 30. Oktober 1991, p. 87.
Bochi, Patricia A. 1996. "Of Lines, Linen, and Language: A Study of a Patterned Textile and its Interweaving with Egyptian Beliefs." In Chronique d'Égypte, 71, 71 (1996), 227 fig. 4, 253.
Franke, Detlef 2006. "Fúrsorge und Patronat in der Ersten Zwischenzeit und im Mittleren Reich." In Studien zur Altägyptischen Kultur, 34, 180, no. 12.
Yamamoto, Kei 2015. "False Door of the Royal Sealer Neferiu." In Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom, edited by Adela Oppenheim, Dorothea Arnold, Dieter Arnold, and Kei Yamamoto. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 227–28, no. 165.
Arnold, Dorothea 2015. "Statues in Their Settings: Encountering the Divine." In Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom, edited by Adela Oppenheim, Dorothea Arnold, Dieter Arnold, and Kei Yamamoto. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 22.
Yamamoto, Kei 2015. "The Art of the Stela." In Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom, edited by Adela Oppenheim, Dorothea Arnold, Dieter Arnold, and Kei Yamamoto. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 33, 36.
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