12351. Ancient Egyptian Limestone Round top Stele For Amun Seramun and his wife Tjent-Tjertjer
New Kingdom, Ramesside Period, 1292 - 1069 BC
The ancient Egyptians are qualified as the first aesthetes by social critic Camille Paglia, because of their reverence for style, form, and grace. Ancient Egyptian art was also Freuds favorite form of art, both for its visual uniqueness and the mythology that accompanies it.
This tablet was created as an offering by wealthy deceased couple from the priest class, made to the ka (spirit) of the Egyptian god Osiris. The tablet depicts the couple, Amun Seramun and his wife Tjent-Tjertjer (center and right), as well as the god Osiris (seated, left) The priest and his wife are both making an offering gesture towards Osiris, whose presence is implied through the language in the hieroglyphics below.
Osiris, a powerful male god, is one of the core gods of ancient Egyptian theology: the god of death, reincarnation, and rebirth, and of the flowing, never-ending, eternal cycle of life.
Egyptian legend tells of Osiris continually under attack from various enemies, yet somehow always rising from the dead to live again and rule over his domain. One legend describes Osiris, the supreme ruler of Egypt, brutally murdered by his jealous brother Set, who chopped Osiris body into hundreds of pieces and scattered the pieces around the kingdom. The pieces were collected and reassembled by Isis, a feminine goddess figure, who performed a mysterious ritual and reincarnated Osiris back to life from his reconstructed body parts, after which she and Osiris conceived a son, Horus.
Osiris is a microcosm of the human psyche, and the continual cyclic process of death and reincarnation are metaphors for transcendence.
The couple depicted on the tablet would have had this tablet specially crafted on their behalf, as well as buried themselves with their most prized possessions as an offering to Osiris in exchange for good fortune and abundance for themselves if reincarnated and their ancestors and community. The tablet is very similar to our modern-day memorial plaques in which wealthy patrons dedicate money in service of their chosen religion organization in hopes of ensuring a benevolent and abundant future for posterity.
We have worked with a world renowned Egyptologist to provide an accurate translation of the hieroglyphics, which are outlined below and illustrate the intentions of the deceased couple.
This tablet has been cleanly repaired and is an excellent state of preservation with some visible surface erosion.
It was acquired from private collection at Castle Chenay, France, before 1970, originally bought in an auction sale in Rouillac.
Size: 15 inches (38 cm) Height x 12-1/2 inches (32 cm) Width + custom mounted.
TOP LEFT (ABOVE OSIRIS):
May a royal offering be given to Osiris, lord of Abydos, the great god.
TOP CENTER, CONTINUING DOWN BETWEEN MAN AND WOMAN:
For the ka of the wab-priest of Amun-Ser-amun, true of voice, and for the ka of the songstress Tjent-Tjertjer, true of voice.
FIVE HORIZONTAL LINES:
May a royal offering be given to Amun-Re, Horakhty, Atum, and Horus who sails across the sky, so that they may (in turn) give bread, beer, oxen, and fowl ? everything good, pure, and sweet on which the gods live ? for the ka of the Osiris, the wab-priest of the front of (the procession of) Amun, the wab-priest of the temple of Amun and overseer of builders of the temple of Amun, Ser-amun, true of voice, and for the ka of the lady of the house, the songstress (?) of Wepwawet, lord of Asyut, Tjent-tjertjer, true of voice.
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