Relief from the South Wall of a Chapel of Ramesses I
New Kingdom, Ramesside
reign of Seti I
ca. 1295–1294 B.C.
From Egypt, Northern Upper Egypt, Abydos, Temple of Sety I, north of NE corner, Chapel of Ramesses I
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1911
Not on view
Ramesses I, first king of Dynasty 19, was a military officer from the eastern Delta. He served as a general and vizier under Haremhab, last king of Dynasty 18, and was designated by him as his successor. Probably quite old when he became king, most of his monuments were finished by his son, Seti I.
The south wall, shown here, depicts Ramesses I and his family presenting offerings to Osiris. The upper register (now lost) showed Ramesses leading four young bulls to "Osiris Onnophris." In the lower register, Ramesses is shown "making incense and libation" over offerings piled before the shrine of "Osiris, lord of continuity, great god at home in the Abydene nome"; behind the statue of Osiris stand Isis and Hathor.
Ramesses is accompanied by his queen, Sitre, shaking two sistra "to your beautiful face." Behind her is a procession of men and women bearing bouquets. In the dedicatory stela of this temple, they are described as "all his brethren according to their rank"; the first figure behind the queen (now lost) was probably "the beloved brother of the king" mentioned in the stela. The scene in the lower register continued onto the short west face of the doorway (in situ), with two more women bearing bouquets. In the register above them is a scene of Ramesses before the statue of Osiris.