Donation Stela of Shebitqo

Third Intermediate Period

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.

This donation stele shows the pharaoh Shebitqo offering two nw-jars to Horus and Hathor. The pharaoh Shebitqo acts on behalf of a local ruler of the eastern Delta, termed the prince, royal son, Chief of the Meshwesh and priest of Horus of Pharbaetos, Patjenef, who stands behind him. Although Shebitqo wears no distinctive Kushite regalia, Patjenef wears on his head the horizontal feather of the Meshwesh.

Donation Stela of Shebitqo, Limestone

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