First Intermediate Period stela c.59.4cm high, 29.6cm wide and 6.8cm deep. This shows a man in front holding a bow in his left hand and arrows in his right hand. He wears a broad collar. A woman stands behind him. Both face right.
This item was purchased by Wellcome from the Rustafjaell collection in 1906. The top left part of the stelae was made up after its sale in 1906.
Stelae like this with bowmen are called ‘soldier stelae’. The Egypt Centre has another ‘soldier stela’ on display (EC62). The predominance of soldier stelae may be a result of the civil war in this period. Nubian bowmen were frequently employed in Egypt as soldiers. Vandier (1954) suggests that only soldiers killed in action were allowed stelae, which may also explain why they appear hastily made.
Vandier, J. 1954, Manuel d’archéologie égyptienne, II, Paris: A. et J. Picard et Cie, 468-469.
Fischer, H.G. 1964, Inscriptions from the Coptite Nome, Rome: Biblical Institute Press, 50-102.