One of the things that’s both fascinating and frustrating about the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square, Cairo is that as well as the big set piece “masterpieces” of Egyptian art there are also other intriguing objects tucked into corners but they’re often unlabelled.

This is a case in point, a stone … something … tucked into a corner in a doorway between two Old Kingdom reliefs. I’ve just captioned it “Stone Vessel” on my photo site, but I think it might be a stand for an offering bowl as I’ve seen something similar in the Brooklyn Museum.

I love the detail in the hieroglyphs, I’m always a sucker for objects where the Egyptian who made it has blurred the boundaries between writing and art (which are already pretty blurred for the hieroglyphic script).

Edited to add: Nigel Strudwick has given me more information. It’s from tomb B7 at Saqqara, dating to the 5th Dynasty (probably) and is published in Porter-Moss II 2nd ed p490 with the text published in Strudwick’s “The Administration of Egypt in the Old Kingdom” p333. The accession number is CG1298 or CG1301. The text is a sequence of titles and a name, transliterated as: tAyty, zAb imy-r zS, Hry-sStA zT(A)w. He didn’t give a full translation in the comment but piecing it together from what he, Vicky Metafora, Dave Robbins and John Patterson have said I think it’s something like: ?, Judge, Overseer of Scribes, Master of Secrets Zetjau (where Zetjau is the man’s name). Thank you everyone, it’s nice to find out more about this! 🙂

Stone Vessel. CG1298 or CG1301

See it on my photo site: and go one to the right for a (better focused) close up of two of the hieroglyphs.

See the other offering stand on my photo site:

I’ve written about hieroglyphs and the other writing scripts in Egypt on the blog in the past:

Jigsaw Puzzles:

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