Stelae of Turin Museum

The Turin Museum stelae from Deir el-Medina are principally rectangular, round-topped slabs of limestone 
decorated with either painted relief decoration or painting over a thin layer of plaster. Most stelae are of 
votive and funerary nature. They are decorated with scenes of an individual bearing offerings to a deity or 
a group of deities or simply in the act of worshipping the god or goddess, whose assistance was sought. The 
majority of stelae in the Turin museum formerly come from the Drovetti collection.

The text on this XY2 fan page was written by Su Bayfield and Lenka Peacock, both from the UK, using the sources below.
The photographs were taken by Su Bayfield, UK and Hans Ollermann, The Netherlands.
All photographs of the objects from the museum’s collections are © of Museo Egizio di Torino.

Stele of Mutnofret to Renenutet
From Deir el-Medina
18th-19th dynasty
Round-topped stele of Mutnofret showing the adoration of 
Renenutet, depicted here with a head of a serpent and a 
body of a female. The goddess has a solar disk between 
bovine horns on her head. In the bottom register the 
same goddess, 
“The Lady of the Heavens” is adored by 
the deceased Inofre, who is kneeling with her arms raised.
Renenutet, in Egyptian “snake who nourishes” was a 
popular and beneficial deity. Protective in nature and of a 
nurturing rather than venomous disposition, she was a 
goddess of the harvest and a divine nurse. She is 
identified with the household and family life in her role as 
provider, nourisher and as a nurse of infants. Here her 
associations with children also identified her with Hathor 
whose headdress she wears.
23,5 x 16 x 4 cm
S. 6138 RCGE 14896

Stele of Parahotep
From Deir el-Medina
19th dynasty
Painted limestone
Round-topped
Meretseger was the goddess of the pyramidal peak which lies 
above the Theban necropolis. Her usual name was “she who 
loves silence”. She was primarily worshipped by the workmen 
of Deir el-Medina.
From the 18th dynasty onwards, the main focus of religious 
worship of the population of Deir el-Medina was the cult of 
Amenhotep I, particularly in the form of “Lord of the village”, 
together with his mother Ahmose-Nefertari.
Amenhotep I Djeserkare (1525-1504 BC) was the second 
pharaoh of the 18th dynasty. He was probably still very young 
when he came to the throne, so it is likely that his mother, 
queen Ahmose-Nefertari (c.1570-1505 BC) served as regent 
for the first part of his reign. They are jointly credited with 
the foundation of Deir el-Medina, where they consequently 
enjoyed personal religious cults until the late Ramesside Period.
Dimensions: 30 x 20,5 x 4 cm
Cat. 1451 / RCGE 5742

Stele of Nebnefer
From Deir el-Medina
19th dynasty
Limestone
The stele is divided into 3 registers. In the top section 2
 wedjat 
eyes with
 shen sign above 3 zigzag lines indicating water are depicted.
The second, largest register, is divided into 12 horizontal strips. Each 
is occupied by a coloured snake facing to the right.
In the bottom register 3 columns of hieroglyphic text worship the 
goddess Meretseger:
 “life, strength and health to the ka and the lady 
of the house Wab, the justified.”
 To the right of the text the 
deceased woman is kneeling with her hands raised in adoration. She 
wears a white robe. A lotus flower is placed on top of her wig. Behind 
her head there are 4 hieroglyphic signs that form the phrase 
“at 
peace”
. To the right of the scene there is an offering table with a 
vessel flanked by a bunch of lotus flowers. Below the table there are 
2 vessels on pedestals.

The stela is framed by a narrow blue strip in bas relief. On the right side of the stela, starting half 
way up, there is an inscription in black flanked on each side by two red, vertical lines which 
commemorates the “servant of the Lord of the two lands in the place (seat) of Truth”. Nebnefer and his 
son Pauebekhnu.
On the left side of the stela there is an inscription in black, also flanked by two red vertical lines, 
which commemorates Nebnefer and his daughter Henutshenu.
Height: 27 cm
Width: 17 cm
Former Drovetti’s collection
cat. 1533 = CGT 50060

Stele of the scribe Ramose
From Deir el-Medina
19th dynasty, reign of Ramesses II
The scribe Ramose, whose title was “Scribe in the Place of 
Truth” of Ramesses II (5th to 38th regnal year), dedicated 
this stela to the goddess Qudshu, the Asiatic goddess of 
love, possibly hoping that her intercession might assist in 
rousing his sexual potency. Qudshu is shown standing naked on 
a lion, her sacred animal. She is placed between male 
fertility deities Reshep and Min-Amun-Re.
In the bottom register next to Ramose is his wife Mutemwia.
The couple failed to produce an heir and eventual successor. 
The stele reflects their desire to have children.
Height: 45 cm
Width: 30 cm
cat. 1601 = CGT 50066

Stele of Amennakhte
19th dynasty, around 1295-1186 BC
Limestone
Rectangular limestone stela of Amennakht, possibly originating 
from the sanctuary of Ptah and Meretseger. Most probably 
intended to depict the sanctuary with its two hills. The relief 
ornamentation of the four sacred cobras in the upper part of the 
stela is intended to be a symbolic representation of the “Great 
Peak of the West”. The goddess shown on the right, personifies 
the peak, and is called “Isis the Great”. She is depicted with 
bovine horns and a solar disk like Hathor. Amennakht is shown 
kneeling inside a rectangle that was intended to represent a 
chapel in the sanctuary.
Height: 43 cm
Width: 30 cm
Formerly from Drovetti’s collection
Inv. cat. 1521 = CGT 50059

Stele of Amenemope
From Deir el-Medina
Beginning of the 19th dynasty, reign of Seti I and Rameses II
Limestone
The stele is dedicated to Amenhotep I and Ahmose-Nefertari by 
the ‘Servant in the Place of Truth’ Amenemope and Amennakht.
The king and the queen are shown sitting on their thrones. Above 
the sovereign there is a solar disc flanked by two sacred cobras 
and their cartouches are shown to the right of each of them.
In the bottom register Amenemope is shown with his son 
Amennakht, who also was a “Servant in the Place of Truth”, in 
the pose of adoration.
Height: 30 cm
Width: 20 cm
Former Drovetti’s collection
cat. 1452 = CGT 50034

Stele from Deir el-Medina
Limestone
Upper part of round-topped limestone stele, depicting 
the solar disc with a single wing and two columns of 
hieroglyphs, partly illegible. A warrior goddess on 
horseback is about to shoot an arrow at an enemy of 
whom only the head and part of the bust can be seen. 
The goddess, depicted naked, is riding side-saddle. She 
is wearing an Atef crown, a necklace, bracelets and 
quiver. She is Astarte, goddess of war and death and 
was very popular in Egypt although of Canaanite origin.
Height: 24.5 cm
Width: 22.5 cm
S. 1308 RCGE 14960

Stele of Baki
From Deir el-Medina
19th dynasty, reign of Seti I and Rameses II, around 
1290-1279 BC
Limestone
This round-topped stele is carved in low relief and painted 
in several colours. The pictorial plane is divided into two 
registers, the upper one containing two rams facing each 
other. The animals, with cobras rising on their foreheads, 
wear tall headdresses composed of two tall plumes with a 
solar disk at the centre. Between them is a small offering 
table with lotus flowers. The mirror image hieroglyphic 
inscription refers to the rams and reveals their divine 
nature as that of Amun-Ra. In the register below, 
foreman Baki is shown in the pose of adoration.
Height: 46 cm
Width: 28.4 cm
Cat. 1549 RCGE 5706

Stele of Hay
From Deir el-Medina
20th dynasty, reign of Ramesses III
Limestone
The round-topped stele is dedicated to the goddess 
Meretseger, represented with a female body and serpent’s 
head and to the goddess Taweret who is depicted as a 
hippopotamus on two legs and who precedes her. Each of the 
goddesses is identified in the vertical text in front of her. 
Both are wearing a modius crown surmounted by the bovine 
horns and the solar disc on her head. Meretseger is holding 
was-sceptre and the symbol of eternal life. In the 
dedication Hay, the deputy workman, who lived at Deir 
el-Medina during the time of Ramesses III, also remembers 
his sons Amennakht, draughtsman-scribe, and Nebnefer. 
Hay’s tomb is no. 267 at Deir el-Medina.
Height: 43 cm
Width: 28 cm
Former Drovetti’s collection
cat. 1606 = CGT 50062

Stele to Meretseger
From Deir el-Medina
19th dynasty
Limestone
Round-topped
Depiction of a serpent – a rearing 
cobra – in front of an offering table. 
The hood of the cobra is dilated. Her 
head dress consists of two tall plumes 
and a sun disk.

Stele dedicated to the “Great Cat”
19th dynasty
Limestone
Stelae depicting cats usually refer to the sun god 
or to a female deity. The inscription bears an 
offering formula for the “beautiful and gracious 
cat”. Exactly which goddess is described is 
uncertain since several, such as Bastet, Mut, 
Sekhmet or Neith, were all connected with 
felines.  
Height: 16 cm
Width: 11 cm
Former Drovetti’s collection
cat. 1600 = CGT 50053

Stela of Inherkau
From the Tomb of Inherkau at Deir el-Medina, TT 359
20th dynasty, reign of Ramesses III-V
Limestone
Inherkau was a foreman of the Lord of the Two Lands in 
the Place of Truth, meaning he was in charge of workmen in 
the royal necropolis. He flourished during the reign of 
Ramesses IV and continued working into the reign of 
Ramesses VII some 15 years later.
The top register of this round-topped stele shows 3 
deities: Amun-Ra, Montu and the deified king Amenhotep I.
The bottom register shows the deified queen 
Ahmose-Nefertari and in front of her stands Raettawy, 
“Raet of the Two Lands”. She was the female counterpart 
of the sun god Ra. She is depicted here in a Hathor-like 
form as a woman wearing a solar disk with horns and a 
uraeus.
38,6 x 26,2 x 4,8 cm
Cat. 7358 RCGE 5737

Stele of Amenhotep I before Amun-Ra
From Deir el-Medina
18th dynasty
Limestone
Dimensions: 30 x 19,6 x 4 cm
Fragment of a rectangular stele with cartouches of Amenhotep I. 
The god Amun-Ra, represented on the left, is holding a scimitar 
(khepesh) of typical half-moon shape in his right hand. He 
presents it to the king, who faces him on the right. Amun-Ra 
holds an 
ankh sign in his left hand. The king’s head carries a 
crown of Sokar. With his right hand he grasps the hair of a 
prisoner whose arms are tied behind his back. Between the god 
and the Pharaoh there is a column with a brief hieroglyphic 
inscription that says: 
“I give you the scimitar khepesh, Lord of 
the Two Lands, of each district”.
Cat. 1452 / RCGE 5749

Stelophorus statue with a stele
From Deir el-Medina
18th-19th dynasty
Limestone
This type of stele is so called stelophorous 
statue. It consists of kneeling figure 
holding or offering stele. They were 
produced from the 18th dynasty onwards. 
Such stelae were usually inscribed with 
hymns to the sun-god.
31,5 x 14,4 x 19 cm
Cat. 3040 RCGE 5584

Stele of Pendua and Tyr
From Deir el-Medina
19th dynasty (1292-1186 BC)
Limestone
The round-topped stele is divided into two registers. It is 
decorated in low relief and painted.
The upper register: there are two goddesses depicted seated on 
their thrones, facing each other. Both wear the modius crowns. 
They hold
 ankh symbols in one hand and was scepters in the other 
hand. There is an offering table with a jug and two lotus flowers 
placed between them. They are identified as
 Nefertiti, lady of the 
sky
, and Arytnefret, lady of the sky.
Lower register: a woman and a man kneel at the center facing each 
other. Behind them a girl and a boy are standing.
The man is 
Pendua, “Servant of the Place of Truth”, the woman is 
his wife Tyr, the children are Hui, son of Pendua, and Tentenub, his 
daughter. The name of the father of Pendua, Quen was added in 
black ink.
38,5 x 26 x 4,3 cm
Cat. 1565 RCGE 5752

Stela of Nebre adoring Khonsu
From Deir el-Medina
19th dynasty
Painted limestone
Khonsu sits on a cube-like throne and wears the solar disc 
and half-moon on his head. He faces an offering table piled 
with food and flowers. The hieroglyphic inscription reads: 
“Khonsu-in-Thebes, Neferhotep. Protection, life, stability 
and power surround him, like Ra. Libation for your ka with 
bread, beer, oxen and fowl.”
Lower register depicts two men kneeling in adoration. They 
face to the left: Nebre, whose title is
 kedw sesh 
“draughtsman” and his son, Amenemope.
“Give praise to Khonsu-in-Thebes by the scribe of Amun in 
the Place of Truth Nebra, justified in peace, he loved his 
son, Amenemope, justified”
.
In the bottom register are the 
“Draughtsman-scribe of Amun 
in the Place of Truth”, Nebre, and his son, Amenemope”.
22,3 x 15,5 x 4,5 cm
Cat. 1589 RCGE 5713

Stele to Hathor and Meretseger
From Deir el-Medina
18th-20th dynasty
Limestone
On the right Hathor is depicted 
with the human-bovine face and a 
naos containing an image of 
Meretseger on her head.
19 x 25 x 6 cm
Cat. 1658 RCGE 5732

Stele dedicated to the god Ra-Horakhty on the solar boat
From Deir el-Medina
19th dynasty
Limestone
On the cornice of the stele there is a winged scarab, which 
sometimes replaces the winged solar disk. In the lower 
register on the left, four mummies are standing in front of 
a tomb-pyramid of Deir el-Medina and two persons who 
make offerings. They are Merira and Hui, the two sons of 
the deceased Qen, whose title was “Amun sculptor of the 
Place of Truth “. Beside the mummies is a woman named 
Takri, who cries with despair”.
Cat 1635 = CGT 50074
Height: 57 cm
Width: 36 cm

Ears in relief stele
19th dynasty
Limestone
This small, rectangular stele is carved in low relief with 
two pairs of ears pierced in the lobe to hang earrings. 
Depictions of ears on stelae were common in New Kingdom 
Egypt. They related to a new religious concept in which 
the relationship between the individual and a god was 
closer and did not necessarily have to rely on the 
mediation of a priest. The ears are a reference to the 
divinity listening to the prayers of the faithful, who turn 
to the god in search of favours such as the curing of 
diseases.
Further there are two simple inscriptions: vertical
 
“nebet-hetepet who hears prayer, Lady of Heaven”

horizontal 
“User-satet.” The name User-Satet, “Powerful 
of Satet” was probably of Nubian origin, since Satet was a 
Nubian goddess.
Height: 17 cm
Cat. 1546 = N.50026
From the Drovetti collection

Stele of Amenemope
From Deir el-Medina
18th-19th dynasty
Limestone
Dimensions: 39 x 29,1 x 2,4 cm
This round-topped stele is divided into 2 registers. 
The upper register depicts the solar disk in the 
solar barque, resting on the hieroglyphic sign for 
sky. In the lower register the deceased is depicted 
standing on the left, facing to the right, with his 
arms raised in adoration. He wears an ankle-length 
kilt. The figure is in part chiseled out. The 
remaining area of the register is divided into 9 
columns of hieroglyphic inscription. It contains an 
abbreviated version of a solar hymn. Some traces of 
preserved pigment are visible on the stela: red for 
the solar disk, yellow for the boat and its 
background, blue for the sky and the hieroglyphic 
signs. The dedicator of the stela is named as 
Amenemope.
Cat. 1515 = CGT 50043

Stele of Nakhy
Limestone
From Deir el-Medina
Round-topped
New Kingdom, 18th-19th dynasty, about 1330-1290 BC
Dimensions: 100 x 63 x 15 cm
Originally from Drovetti’s collection (1824)
Nakhy is adoring Osiris and Anubis, while his son Nakhtmin 
adores the goddess Hathor. In the lower register Nakhy’s 
relatives appear in procession before their parents.
Height: 67 cm
Width: 42 cm
Inventory Nb: Cat. 1586 RCGE 5755

Stele of Pashed
From Deir el-Medina
19th dynasty, around 1292-1186 BC
Limestone
On this round-topped stele, the deceased Pashed, 
“excellent spirit of Ra”, 
akh-ikr, is pictured left, 
seated on a chair with lion’s paws, smelling the lotus 
flower. The offering table holds a basket containing 
various offerings. A large open pomegranate, containing 
a great quantity of seeds, appears under the chair. The 
colours on this stele are well preserved.
17,5 x 12,3 x 3 cm
Cat. 1570 RCGE 5710

Stele of Ipuy
From Deir el-Medina
19th dynasty, around 1292-1186 BC
Limestone
This round-topped stele is divided into two 
registers.
In the upper register, which is executed in 
raised relief, the King of kings Harakhte is 
followed by Amenhotep I, Osiris and the 
goddess Hathor.
In the lower register, which is executed in 
bas-relief, Ipuy is depicted with his wife and 
their children: Nebnakht performs a ritual 
purification, Huy and Werel offer gifts.
The deceased was a painter and sculptor at 
Deir el-Medina. His tomb is TT 217.
57 x 38,4 x 7,4 cm
Cat. 7357 RCGE 5689

Stele of three generations of craftsmen
From Deir el-Medina, from the tomb Nakhtmin 
and Nu (
TT 291)
End of the 18th dynasty, around 1330-1292 BC
Limestone
Dimension: 100 x 81 x 9 cm
Inventory Nb: Cat 1619 RCGE 5757

This round-topped stele is divided into three 
registers.
In the top register there is an inscription of thirteen 
columns of hieroglyphs. Below are represented Osiris 
and Anubis seated on their thrones, worshiped by 
Minhotep. To the right Nakhtmin stands in the act of 
adoration before the goddess Hathor.
In the second register Minhotep and his wife 
Nefertari receive offerings from their five sons and 
two daughters.
In the third register Nakhtmin and his wife Sekhmet 
 receive offerings from five children, two daughters 
and five sons.

Stele of Djeserka
From Deir el-Medina
18th-19th dynasty, around 1550-1186 BC
Limestone
The deceased is seated on a stool with a 
high back and legs with lion’s paw feet. 
Djeserka’s brother, Huy, standing, is 
purifying the offering table with water and 
incense.
30 x 23 x 6 cm
Cat. 1604 RCGE 5735

Stele of Heria to Ahmose Nefertari
From Deir el-Medina
18th-19th dynasty, around 1550-1070 BC
Limestone
Amenhotep I Djeserkare (1525-1504 BC) was 
the second pharaoh of the 18th dynasty. He 
was probably still very young when he came to 
the throne, so it is likely that his mother, the 
queen Ahmose-Nefertari (c.1570-1505 BC) 
served as regent for the first part of his reign. 
They are jointly credited with the foundation of 
Deir el-Medina, where they consequently 
enjoyed personal religious cults until the late 
Ramesside Period.
The inhabitants of Deir el-Medina venerated 
the queen by dedicating statuettes, votive 
stelae and food offerings.
13,3 x 9,7 x 3 cm
Cat. 1450 RCGE 5747

Stele of Mekhimontu
From Deir el-Medina
18th-20th dynasty, around 1550-1070 BC
Painted limestone
The round-topped stele is divided into two registers. The top 
register contains a brightly painted offering scene. The 
married couple, Mekhimontu and Nubemueskhetsit, in front of 
an offering table while a standing priest purifies the content 
with water pouring from a ewer-shaped vessel. He is named as 
Smen, the deceased’s brother.
The bottom register consists of a hieroglyphic inscription of two 
lines containing a standard offering formula with its associated 
offering rites. The actual rendering of this stereotypical 
phrase is notoriously obscure and still exercises the minds of 
scholars. Whatever its original form, the phrase had come to 
be treated as a fixed, compound expression by the Middle 
Kingdom. It is composed of three parts, which can be divided 
according to the characteristic Egyptian expression found in 
each:
– 
htp-di  an offering given
– 
prt-hrw  a voice offering
– 
n k3 n  for the ka of
The couple are making an offering to Osiris, lord of Abydos, so 
that he may give a voice offering for their souls.
28,5 x 20 x 4 cm
S. 9492 RCGE 14900

Stele of Nebra
From Deir el-Medina
19th dynasty, around 1292-1186 BC
Limestone
In the top register a swallow sits in front of an 
offering table while in the lower register 
Nakhamun and Khay kneel in adoration in front of 
a worshipped cat. The swallow and the cat are 
two minor deities, Menet and Tamit. It is 
remarkable that this stele has been dedicated by 
Nebra without him being represented here.
Former Drovetti collection
14,2 x 9,2 x 2,5 cm
Cat. 1591 RCGE 5719 = CGT 50056

Stele of May
From Deir el-Medina / Chapel of May (TT 338)
End of the 18th, beginning of the 19th dynasty
Limestone
This round-topped stele is divided into 3 
registers. In the top register May and his 
wife stand in adoration in front of Osiris and 
Hathor, both seated on their thrones. In the 
lower registers the couple sit on chairs in 
front of an offering table. Their daughter 
stands next to them. A procession consisting 
of their family members approach them with 
their offerings: 3 men in the middle register 
and 4 men and 2 women in the bottom register.
The stele would have come from a niche in 
May’s chapel, where it would have been placed 
on a stone pedestal (according to Bernard 
Bruyère). When Deir el-Medina was excavated 
during the last century, these chapels were 
partly or completely gone as they were built 
above the ground and made of mud bricks.
Dimensions: 66,7 x 42 x 7,3 cm
The stele is on display in Room III
Inventory no. Cat. 1579 RCGE 46595

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Sources:
1. Roccati, Alessandro : The Egyptian Museum Turin
Istituto polygraphico e zecca dello stato Liberia della stato
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Roma : Istituto poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato, Libreria dello Stato, 2003.
93 p.
3. Curto, Silvio : L’antico Egitto nel Museo Egizio di Torino
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– 5 aout 2002
Paris : Réunion des Musées Nationaux, 2002.
5. Tosi, Mario : La cappella di Maia : un pittore a Deir el-Medina
Torino : Artema, 1994. 82 p.
6. Janssen, Rosalind and Janssen, Jac. J.: Egyptian household animals
Aylesbury : Shire Publications, 1989.
7. McDowell, A.G.: Village life in ancient Egypt : laundry lists and love songs
Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1999.
8.Shaw, Ian, Nicholson, Paul: British Museum dictionary of ancient Egypt
London: British Museum Press, 1995.
9. Davies, Benedict G.: Who’s who at Deir el-Medina : a prosopographic study of the royal workmen’s 
community
Leiden : Nederlands Instituut voor Her Nabije Oosten, 1999
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London : Thames & Hudson, 2003.
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yourself
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12. The Cairo Museum masterpieces of Egyptian art / edited by Francesco Tiradritti
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13. Museum’s own labels

Author: DonFletcher

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