Stele of Wadjsetji and his wife, Merirtyef

First Intermediate Period
2100–2040 B.C.

Findspot: Egypt, Mesheikh, Tomb 101


Length x width x height: 71 x 54 x 9.5 cm (27 15/16 x 21 1/4 x 3 3/4 in.) Weight: 51.26 kg (113 lb.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


On View

Dynasties 6-11 (Gallery 105C)


The Ancient World



This stela depicts the official Wadjsetji with his wife Merirtyef and their two children, the latter at much reduced scale relative to their parents. All figures stand beneath a three-line offering formula and to the left of a vertical pile of food and drink offerings. The scene is rendered in sunk relief and painted in bright earth tones. The field of decoration is enclosed by a border of black, yellow, red and green blocks.


(1) "An offering which the king gives, (and) Anubis, who is upon his mountain, (2) who is in the place of embalming, lord of the necropolis, that offerings be invoked for the sole companion (3) Wadjsetji. His wife, his beloved, the sole royal ornament Merirtyfy (?)."
under ultraviolet light can be seen the names of two small figure, "Inheret" and "Ibu." (Leprohon)


From Mesheikh, tomb 101. Excavated by the Harvard University-Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; 1912: assigned to the MFA by the government of Egypt.

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition