Inscribed Plaque From a Foundation Deposit
- New Kingdom, Ramesside
- Dynasty 19
- reign of Seti I
- ca. 1294–1279 B.C.
- Probably from Memphite region, Memphis, foundation deposit; From Egypt
- Egyptian blue, faience
- H. 8 cm (3 1/8 in.); W. 4.5 (1 3/4 in.)
- Credit Line:
- Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
- Accession Number:
Seti I, second king of Dynasty 19, was, like his father Ramesses I, very conscious of his role in establishing a new dynasty and restoring the power and stature of Egypt among its neighbors. He campaigned in the Levant and his battle reliefs decorate the exterior walls of the huge hypostyle hall that he added to the temple of Karnak. He also reopened the gold mines in the eastern desert and Nubia. He built a beautiful mortuary temple for himself at Abydos in which was carved the famous kinglist of Abydos, as well as a mortuary temple at Thebes. In the Valley of the Kings, he built one of the most beautifully carved and decorated tombs ever made there.
Very little is known of his building in Memphis. This cartouche-shaped plaque, however, may have come from the foundation deposit of a structure honoring the god Ptah of Memphis. The inscription on the front bears the throne name of Seti I, "Menmaatre, Ruler of Heliopolis," while on the back, the name of the structure appears as "the temple (called) Set-Merneptah-is beneficial-in-the-domain-of-Ptah." The structure was probably incomplete upon Seti's death, and was finished under his son Ramesses II who usurped it. The building was probably dismantled and its blocks were reused in later times, leaving only this plaque and two other small objects to indicate that it once existed.