A stela is a tablet or slab, often made of a single piece of stone or wood and featuring inscriptions and representations done in relief. The stela belonging to the land registrar Antefoker was found on the hill of the Osiris sanctuary near Abydos. At the end of the era of the Old Kingdom, Osiris became the most important god of the dead in Egypt. The spot in Abydos where he was supposed to be buried became a place of pilgrimage. Many stelae were erected there for him.
Stelae are expressions of the belief that reality can be replaced by magical pictures and texts. The rise of the Osiris cult is an indication that the Egyptians no longer only trusted in the Pharaoh to see to their expectations in the hereafter, as they had done in previous centuries. People believed that Osiris had been raised from the dead and hoped to conquer death themselves as well. They nursed an idealistic image of a heavenly and sunny hereafter, where Osiris was king.
Whoever could afford it, placed a stela on the hill near the Osiris sanctuary, featuring votive prayers and the names of the owners and their relatives. Osiris’ worshippers wished to be granted to see the god and his following. Antefoker had his stela inscribed as follows: ‘I have come to this tomb near the stairs of the god sublime, in the large district of Hemhet, in order to see Wepwawet gracing all his feasts and processions.’ Wepwawet was a jackal god who was also worshipped in Abydos.


  • Title: Stela of Antefoker
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: -1939
  • Location: Abydos, Egypte
  • Physical Dimensions: w80 x h143 x d12 cm
  • Datering: 1939 v.C.
  • Afmetingen: 143 x 80 x 12 cm ; c. 300 kg
  • Type: stela
  • External Link: Rijksmuseum van Oudheden
  • Medium: limestone

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