Egyptian Steles

Egyptian Steles
Egyptian Steles

When we study an ancient culture, any source of information that allows us to know part of that culture becomes a piece of great value but even more so when these pieces allow us to know not only data but the way of thinking of a civilization as old as the Egyptian. For many years the Egyptian civilization has fascinated historians and archaeologists of all time, perhaps for this reason we know so many facts about this ancient culture and yet we must point out how even today there are many mysteries that are beyond our understanding.


In this sense, the Egyptian stelae found throughout history have yielded numerous data about the culture that saw them born. When we refer to a stela, we are talking about a piece of stone that rises above the ground and that can have both a funerary, religious or simply historical commemoration function. Numerous stelae have been found in Egypt, but here we will only analyze some of them.

Thus, for example, we can talk about the Victory Stele also known as the Israel Stela; it is a greyish granite stone dating from the 3rd century BC. It is known that the piece was raised by Pharaoh Amenhotep III and was later inscribed on the back of him Merneptah; It is precisely this inscription that makes the piece acquire great relevance, since in itsinscription is the first time that a mention of the Israeli people as such appears. The piece was discovered at the end of the 19th century and, as in the rest of the Egyptian stelae, we must point out that the inscriptions that appear engraved refer to historical and therefore real events.

One of the most original stelae is the Taesjeret Stela,a unique piece since it is not carved in stone but has been carved in wood over the years 950 and 900 BC. therefore belonging to the period of the XXII Dynasty. The piece that is currently preserved in the National Archaeological Museum of Madrid has a representation of Taesjeret before the god Horus painted in stucco on the wood itself, you can also see religious inscriptions that refer to the god Atum and Path.

The last of the stelae that we will analyze here is the Stone of Palermo –a piece very similar to the well-known Rosseta stone, the most notable Egyptian stela- carved in stone diorite and that presents three different registers: a first register in which the pharaoh is mentioned, a second part in which mention is made of some of the events of the time and finally, in the third register, the level of the Nile river is pointed out during that time; a fact that shows us the importance that the river had for the Egyptians.

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