The Stele of Prince Ankh-Nef-Nebu.

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Topics: Ancient Egypt
The Stele of Prince Ankh-nef-nebu was found at the site of Deir El-Bahari, the same compound that housed the 11th Dynasty Mortuary Complex and 18th Dynasty temple. The Stele of Prince Ankh-nef-nebu was found before 1925 and belongs to the Egyptian (New Kingdom) period. It is made of limestone and has traces of polychrome paint. The Stele’s dimensions are 12 x 8 x 3 in. It is currently located at the Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Depicted in the center of The Stele of Prince Ankh-nef-neb is the Prince standing at the right offering a table of gifts to three gods and goddesses. The deities can be identified from their appearances and symbols. Isis with the throne on his head, Horus with the head of a hawk and a crown of Egypt and Min with an erected penis and a flail. Their identities are reaffirmed by hieroglyphics that are carefully inscribed above them. Isis is regarded as the Queen of Goddesses, she was a great healer as well as a magician. Horus is known for ruling the whole of Egypt. His headdress comprises of both the crown of Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt. Min was worshipped by the Egyptians as a fertility and sexuality god. Upon close observation, one would notice that some parts of the stele have been erased. This was done with the purpose of reusing the stele. The visible band of hieroglyphs at the bottom of the stele reads, “We give life, prosperity, and health?”

Stelae were most usually used for funerary or commemorative purposes; although some were also used as territorial markers The Stele of Prince Ankh-Nef-Nebu was used as a funerary stele as inferred from the location it was found and the band of stars framing the top part of the stele. The Egyptians believed that the stars were inhabited by the dead. Thus, stars were used as a common decoration for coffins or funerary inscriptions. The stele encompasses mainly smooth lines. It makes use of repetitive patterns on the top and bottom of the image.

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