Funerary stele

Meroitic Period


Height x width x depth: 55 x 24 x 9.5 cm (21 5/8 x 9 7/16 x 3 3/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



Several elements of this male figure, carved in bold relief and filling the entire stele, associate it with the ba statues, among them the sun-disk above the head, the staff in the right hand, and the handkerchief in the left (cf. cats. 306, 307). The combination of full frontal view for the head and upper torso with the profile view for the legs and feet has already appeared in the tomb relief from the North Cemetery of Meroe (cat. 305). This treatment gives the representation a mild sense of motion. (Sudan catalogue) The male figure is likely that of a dignitary, and the sun disk above his head indicates that he was deceased and united with the sun. A Meroitic inscription appears to the left of the figure.


By 1992: with Lucien Viola, L'Ibis Gallery, NY; 1992: purchased by the MFA from Lucien Viola.

Credit Line

Gift of Horace L. and Florence E. Mayer, C. Granville Way, Denman Ross, the Hon. Mrs. Fredrick Guest, Bequest from Charles H. Parker, and Anonymous Gift, by exchange