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Stela of Amenemhat and Yatu

A work made of limestone and pigment.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of limestone and pigment.


Middle Kingdom, late Dynasty 12–early Dynasty 13 (about 1870–1770 BCE)



About this artwork

This stela, or decorated stone monument, depicts a man named Amenemhat seated across from his mother Yatu. A table covered in offerings including bread, meat, and drinks separates them. Amenemhat is portrayed holding a flywhisk, a sign of authority. A blue stone jar designed to hold kohl (eye paint) with an applicator sticking out of its top is shown under his chair. An ointment container is depicted beneath the chair of Yatu, who holds a lotus blossom to her nose. In ancient Egypt, the lotus was a symbol of rebirth. The hieroglyphic text above the figures includes a prayer to the god of the underworld, Osiris: “May he give invocation offerings of bread, beer, oxen, fowl, alabaster, clothing, and every good and pure thing upon which [a god] lives, to the ka (soul) of the retainer Amenemhat, deceased.”


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Arts of Africa


Ancient Egyptian


Stela of Amenemhat and Yatu




Made 1870 BCE–1770 BCE


Limestone and pigment


Prayer, in four horizontal lines, for "a royal offering of Osiris, Lord of 'Life of the Two Lands' (a quarter in Memphis). May he give a mortuary offering of bread and beer, oxen and geese, linen, clothing, every good and pure thing whereon [the god] lives, for the ka of the gaurdsman Amenhemat, deceased, born of Yatu, deceased, (and for the ka of) his mother, his beloved, Yatu, deceased, born of Tita, deceased.


59 × 42.5 × 11 cm (23 1/4 × 16 3/4 × 4 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Henry H. Getty, Charles L. Hutchinson, and Norman W. Harris

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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