“In the stela of Sebek-khu the ManchesterMuseum possesses one of the most important historical documents ever found in Egypt.” So wrote Thomas Eric Peet*, over a hundred years ago, about this rather crudely executed, 28cm-high limestone stela (Acc. No. 3306). It was discovered at the site of Abydos by John Garstang in 1901, excavating for the Egyptian Research Account. It once stood among a mass of such private monuments on the ‘Terrace of the Great God’ at Abydos, a site sacred to the god Osiris, and enabled the owner – as the inscription makes clear – to enjoy the smell of incense from rituals conducted for Osiris nearby.
Yet this document is unique because it gives an insight into a soldier’s life during the mid-Twelfth Dynasty (c. 1880-1800 BC). The text is difficult in parts due to the legibility of signs. The main part of the text reads:
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October - November 2019