Stela of Noferhaut

Stela of Noferhaut

Today we introduce you to the stela of Noferhaut, who was chief of the medjai-troops and overseer of the foreign lands under the reign of Thutmose III during the New Kingdom's 18th dynasty.

The stela is made of red sandstone, the size is 98 cm x 52 cm (about 38x20 inches). The provenance is unknown, but probably from Thebes. It was purchased by Count János Waldstein in 1869 in Egypt and was donated to the Hungarian National Museum in 1870. Today it can be viewed in the Egyptian collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest.

The upper part of the stela is topped with a winged sun disc, with a pendant pair of uraei ("rearing cobra"). Below this, Amun-Ra is sitting in front of an offering table, wearing the double feather crown and holding the symbols of life and divine power in his hands.

 

According to the text above his head, he "bestows life and power" upon Thutmose III, "The perfect god, Lord of the Two Lands, Menkheperra, given life like Ra eternally", who is standing in front of him, presenting a bunch of lotus and papyrus, heraldic plants of Upper and Lower Egypt and symbols of renewal.

The lower part of the stela shows Noferhaut on the right side, his arms lifted in adoration, a number of animals - fowls, gazelle, fish - hanging from a stick on his shoulders. The animals are an offering for Amun, and are symbols of marshlands, deserts and water that were considered by the Egyptians to be homes of forces of chaos. Noferhaut, in his position of chief of the medjai-troops and overseer of the foreign lands, would have been performing his duties in these areas of powers of chaos.

In front of the figure of Noferhaut, a hymn to Amun is carved:

"Giving adoration to Amun,

kissing the ground for the Lord of the Gods

by the chief of the medjai-troops,

the justified Noferhaut.

He says: "Welcome, welcome,

Lord of the Gods, Amun, Theban Horus!

Hail to you, in all of your fields, the verdant plants

of which rejoice over you in all your pure places,

in all your sacred fields!

I have come to praise your perfect image.

May you give me that men love me in the length of eternity.

[...] who follows his lord in his journeys

to the northern and southern foreign countries,

the overseer of the foreign lands, Noferhaut.

[...] the [beloved] of the perfect god,

who acts as he is commanded."

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