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Funerary Stele of Tembu
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Funerary Stele of Tembu

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Inscription Credit
Description This round topped funerary stela of Tembu is carved in very low relief and brightly painted in red, yellow, blue, and black. The decoration comprises of two registers of offering scenes and a register of inscription on the bottom. The top depicts two Wadjit eyes flanking a shen-ring and water ripples with a bowl. Below this Tembu is seated with his wife on a typical 18th-Dynasty double chair. Under the chair and attached to it by a leash, is a pet monkey, holding a mirror and a cosmetic vase, which is a typical feature of New Kingdom stelae. The table in front of the couple holds loosely arranged offerings of bread, beef, vegetables and lotus buds and two jugs on stands below the table. One of the daughters of the couple stands in front of the large wine jar decorated with a "nymphaea caerulea" and presents a bowl of wine to her parents. The middle register depicts the rest of the family, including Tembu's sons Teti, Tetimose, Teiy, and Ahmose, holding various flowers and two daughters Senetnefer and Henut, holding flowers. Three of the sons wear short military kilts in accordance with their titles, while the fourth son wears a long kilt and a shirt. Between the daughters and the sons, is placed an extremely large jar decorated with a lotus flower, and topped with a clay stopper.
Date Description Narrative
  • Highlights from the Collection. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1998-2001.
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Translation] His daughter Mahu; Superintendent Tembu; His wife, mistress of the house Taneane(t); His daughter Senetnefer; His daughter Henut; His son, captain Teti; His son, captain of the ship, Tetimes; His son, captain Teiy; His son herdsman? Ahmose; An offering which the king gives, to Osiris, lord of Busiris, Great god, lord of Abydos, that he may give invocation offerings of oxen, fowl, and every good and pure thing on which the god lives to the Ka of the superintendent, Tembu, his wife, mistress of the house Tanene(t), repeating life, mistress of honor
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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ca. 1500-1470 BCE (New Kingdom, early 18th dynasty)
limestone with polychrome paint
Accession Number
26 3/4 x 17 11/16 x 4 3/4 in. (68 x 45 x 12 cm)

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