Anonymous: The harpist's stele (1069 BC- 664 BC)

(Louvre, Paris, France)

A stele made by an unknown ancient Egyptian artist. This piece is a funerary stele, a stone of wooded slab which was raised to honor a specific person (much like a modern tombstone). In this case in honor's the memory of the harpist Djedkhonsouioufankh shown on the right. Djedkhonsouioufankh is depicted here worshiping the god of the rising sun Ra-Horakhty (= 'Ra, who is Horus of the Two Horizons') - a combination of the Egyptian sun god Ra and the sky god Horus. At the top of the stele is a blue band - this represents the sky. This sky is supported on either side by two so-called 'was scepters' (a staff with an animal head at the top and a forked end) - besides symbolizing power, it was thought that the sky was supported by 4 pillars which had the shape of a was. Underneath the blue band are several protective symbols: two wedjat eyes, a shen ring, a stream of water and a small vase. Before Djedkhonsouioufankh is a small table with offerings for Ra-Horakhty - a pitcher and a lotus flower. The text consist of two part. The column on the far left refers to Ra- Horakhty and mentions his name: "Ra-Horakhty, the great god, lord of the sky." . the other 5 columns refers to the harpist: "the singer of Amun, lord of the thrones of the Two Lands (= Egypt), who resides in Thebes, Djedkhonsuiuefank". Wooded stele from the Third Intermediate Period of Ancient Egypt (1069 BC- 664 BC).