Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Relief depicting the performance of funerary rituals

Middle Kingdom
Dynasty 11
late reign of Mentuhotep II or later
ca. 2010–2000 B.C. or ca. 2000–1981 B.C.
From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Sheikh Abd el-Qurna, Tomb of Dagi (TT 103, MMA 807), MMA excavations, 1911–12
Limestone, pigment
L. 89.2 × H. 38.5 cm (35 1/8 × 15 3/16 in.)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1912
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 107
This beautifully carved and painted relief block comes from the inner chapel of the tomb of the vizier Dagi at Thebes. The figures depicted here participate in Dagi's funeral rites. At the right, the upper body and arms of a butcher are preserved; behind him a lector priest performs an offering ritual. The partially preserved inscription reads: "[A gift which the king] gives (consisting of) thousands (of loaves of) bread, thousands (of jars of) beer, thousands of cattle and fowl for the ka (life-force) of the member of the elite Dagi.”

The name of the lector priest, Tetiemsaf (“Teti is his protection”), which refers to deified monarch of the Old Kingdom (Dynasty 6, ca. 2350 B.C.), establishes a remarkable link with the pyramids and pyramid cities in the north. This scene would have been in the top register of the wall, at the left edge, as indicated by the band of colored rectangles at the top and side of the block.

Upper Inscription:

[Htp] Di [nswt] xA t’ xA Hnq.t xa kA.w Apd.w n kA n jr.j-pa.t dAgi

Offering which the king gives, 1000 (of) bread, 1000 (of) beer, 1000 (of) cattle and fowl for the ka (soul) of the nobleman Dagi

Between the two figures

Xr.j-H(A)b Hr.j-tp ttj-m-zA[=f] *

Chief Lector-priest, Tetiemsa[f]

Cf. Ranke I 384.19

Niv Allon 2018
Excavated by the Egyptian Expedition of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1911-12. Acquired by the Museum in the division of finds.

Hayes, William C. 1953. Scepter of Egypt I: A Background for the Study of the Egyptian Antiquities in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Part I: From the Earliest Times to the End of the Middle Kingdom. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 162.

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