This stela is quite an unusual object, as it combines both a stela and a miniature chapel (with niches to hold statuettes of the commissioner and his family). Both individual parts are known from other monuments, but the combination is rare or perhaps unique.

This commissioner was a man called Sehetepib who lived during the 12th Dynasty and was the Overseer of the Troops. The text also names his father Senbebu and his grandfather Heqaib, and it’s possible that these men are also known from statues found on Elephantine.

However this stela was probably erected at Abydos, alongside many hundred other monuments commissioned by officials of the Middle Kingdom to line the processional route at this site of pilgrimage – a way of partaking in the ceremonies honouring Osiris forever.

Stela and Miniature Chapel of the Overseer of the Troops Sehetepib. Provenance unknown. Middle Kingdom, Dynasty 12, probably reign of Amenamhat II or Senwosret II, c. 1919-1878 BCE Acc. No.: Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, Leiden AP 78

This object is now in the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, Leiden (acc. no.: AP 78), but I took this photograph at an exhibition in the Met Museum in 2013.

See it on my photo site:

Jigsaw Puzzles:

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