Steatite; From Meroe, Amun Temple; Oxford Excavations
(Garstang), 1911; Meroitic (50-40 BC)
Khartoum, National Museum
Amun, and on the right the goddess Mut in human form. Amun wears a feathered kilt and corselet, and on his head appears the double-plumed crown. Mut is shown with a winged garment and the Double Crown above a vulture diadem. While a star pattern adorns Amun's throne, a crouching winged sphinx, reminiscent of the Greek nemesis motif, appears on Mut's throne. Each deity is faced by the figure of a king presenting a triple-tiered broad collar. The fully preserved king at right bears on his ankle-length cloak a bird with outstretched wings in frontal view. Between Amun and Mut stands a tightly bound bundle of plants, whose uppermost end seems to be attached to Mut's crown. The beginning of the first two preserved lines of text, written in cursive script, reads: "King [Amanikha]-bale. . . [for his] wife Kaditede. . . ." The missing portion of the stela is probably located on a fragment in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg (K.-H. Priese). The richness of detail and powerful modeling place this stela among the very finest examples of Meroitic relief sculpture.