Funerary stele of Wedja-Hor

Late Period, Dynasty 26
664–525 B.C.


Height x width x depth: 45.7 x 9.8 x 2.3 cm (18 x 3 7/8 x 7/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



Right side fragment of a round-topped stele, formed originally of more than one piece of wood held together by dowels (parts of which remain in holes in the side). All surfaces originally covered with plaster and painted with bule, red, green, yellow, black, and white. Gesso chipped slightly in some spots, but generally good condition.

The entire stele was bordered by a band of blue, red, green, and yellow rectangles separated by intervening black and white stripes. At top in the first register is a “sky/heaven” sign (pt) in yellow speckled with stars. Below a winged sun disk remains with a caption below it which may be reconstructed as: “The Behdetite, Great God, Variegated of Plumage).” A frieze of uraeus cobras atop a cavetto cornice separates the top register from the primary scene, which is also topped by a winged sun disk. To the right of this disk is text, in full, identical to the caption of the sun disk at top. This text appears on an architrave that is “supported” by a palm column painted blue, green, and red along the green background of the ight portion of the stele.

The register of the main scene is topped (below the sun disk) by another “sky/heaven” sign with interior stars. In the scene the deceased stands at right with arms raised in a pose of adoration. He wears a long wig atop which sits a cone of incense, a long kilt, and a leopard-skin mantle over his shoulder (a sign of priestly status). May wear a necklac, and bracelets are certain. A caption above him in black painted hieroglyphs reads: “The stolist and trustworthy one, Wedja-Hor.”

A portion of an offering stand is detectable in front of the deceased, with a lotus flower on it.

Below the primary scene the primary offering text is written in seven bands of multi-colored hieroglyphic text. The remaining text reads: “(1) An offering which the king gives (to) Osiris…, (2) Honored One, the Osiris…, (3) the trustworthy one of Thebes…, (4) [priest] of the first phyle of ten (men) and the phyle of …, (5) Wedja-Hor…, (6) great of offerings…, (7) [priest] of the first phyle… .”


By 1836: Robert Hay Collection, Linplum, Scotland; 1863: to his son, Robert James Alexander Hay; 1868-1872: Way Collection, Boston (purchased by Samuel A. Way through London dealers Rollin and Feuardent, 27 Haymarket); 1872: given to the MFA by Samuel's son, C. Granville Way.
(Accession date: June 28, 1872)

Credit Line

Hay Collection—Gift of C. Granville Way