00522 - Stela of the king Amanikhabale

Museum Number: Sudan National Museum, Khartoum N 00522
Dating : about 50-40 B.C.
Provenance: Meroe.
Acquisition details: esxcavated by J.Garstang in 1911, Meroe. Temple of Amun N 260, Room 272
Technical details: Material: Sandstone
Colour: black with grey spots, inscription picked out in white
Measurements: Height 20,3 cm; Width 18,9 cm; Thickness 3,1 cm
Alteration: broken
Fragment of a round-topped stela. Other part of the stela is broken off.
Representation and Text: Scenes in bold raised relief. At the top of the lunette a winged sun disk. Two gods are represented on the lunnete seating back to back. To the left ram-headed Amun, wearing two feathered and sun disk crown, a feather-patterned kilt, seating on the throne decorated with flower ornament. sign in his left hand, a crooked staff in his right hand. In front of him probably a figure of a king, broken off, wearing a crown offering a three-stand necklace to the god. To the right back to Amun there is Mut, wearing Double Crown with a long applicated tail, decorated in particular with a scarab, wig and vulture symbol of Isis. A scarab is placed into her tail. She is wearing a wing-patterned dress, she is seating on the throne decorated with winged sphinx. In front of her there is a king, wearing a haltered garment, reaching almost to his sndaled feet, two feathered and sun disk crown, long robe, decorated with falkon figure. His ornaments are a large collar, armlets, and braslets. She is offering Mut the same type of collar as the king at the right side. Beneath the scene are two lines of the inscription in meroitic cursive.
se h lo: kdite de
ble: qor
[For his] wife Kaditede King [Amanikha]bale
Comments: The composition of this scene is typically meroitic. From XXV Dynasty onwards one can find such a composition of the lunette here gods were represented back to back, receiving offerings from the king. Here one can see two principal gods of Meroitic Kingdom - Amun and his wife Mut, whose figures garding their egyptian lookeness as a whole were represented in meroitic style. The decor of the king's dress in form of the birs is unique. The headress of Mut is similar with a decoration of the womens belonged to the king's harem. This so-called horse tail on the head is of meroitic origin. The reference has to be given to the woman's statues from El-Kadada. In such a way it is possible to establish the local tradition in rendering woman's and goddesses image in Meroe. The same decor is met on one of the late monument - palette of Arikankharor where the goddess of victore has the same headdress. The winged sphinx rerpresented under the seating place of Mut appeared of course under hellenistic influence such sphinx was represented also under Serapis throne. According to K.H.Priese a lower part of the stela is in the Hermitage, where there is a fragment of greenish black stone with twenty one lines of meroitic cursive inscription. According to K.H.Priese' assuming about twelve lines more were missing. The stela was published by Ju. Zawadovski with the analising of the text. No measurements exept those given by K.H.Priese in Wenig 1978: 201. If the supposition is right the stela had to have a conical form diminuation to the lower part.
Bibliography: Garstang 1912: 47
Literature: Wenig 1975: 423, pl. 427b; 1978, Cat. 122, see also 1967: 17
Sudan 1997: 273, Cat 290
REM 1038
Hintze 1961: 278-9
Hintze-Hintze 1968: 123
Monneret de Villard 1959: 102-105, pl. XXV
Turaev 1912: 1-19
Hofmann 1971: 58, Taf. 8c; 1977: 108ff., fig.30; 1995: 2815
Shinnie 1967: 220, pl. 32
Reinold 1987: 34-37, fig. 7
Zavadovski 1977: 15-21