Stela of Mentuhotep

Stela of Mentuhotep
Middle Kingdom
Balboa Park Museum of Man #14931

Photos ©Joan Ann Lansberry, 2016

The corner of an info card (seen in the top right) teased with a word "Menth...". Perhaps that piece referred to Mentuhotep. I found an article "Stumbling Upon Mentuhotep, Overseer of the Granaries" by KMJohnston that revealed the rest. Johnston gave link to “The Cemeteries of Abydos: Work of the Season 1925-26” (Egyptian Exploration Society) by H. Frankfort, The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, Vol. 14, No. 3/4 (Nov., 1928). I was curious enough, so I paid the ten bucks to see the article to which Johnston referred.

This statue and several stelae were found lying in the drifted sand or taken for paving stones in later tombs. Frankfort deems that statue and this related stela, also at the the San Diego museum, to be from the Middle Kingdom.

Both the statue and the stela refer to a man named Mentuhotep. Their inscriptions are very similar. Combining the Frankfort and Johnston translations, we have for the stela:

"An offering which the king gives, a thousand of bread and beer, of cattle and fowl, to the Ka of the Overseer of the Granary, Mentuhotep, born of Wia (Uya)(triumphant?)".

Frankfort says of the stela:
"The general impression one gets from the style of the figure on the stela as well as the considerable height of the relief seems to connect with the Old Kingdom; a similar stela in Cairo (20014) contains the name Khentikhetihotpe, which points perhaps with somewhat more decisiveness to the beginning of the Middle Kingdom than the names on our objects; and I would be inclined to put these provisionally in the beginning of the Middle Kingdom.

As an example of Old Kingdom style, Akhethotep's relief at the Brooklyn museum:

Relief of Akhethotep
Limestone, 36 1/8 x 23 11/16 in. (91.8 x 60.2 cm)
Early Old Kingdom, Late Dynasty 3 - Early Dynasty 4
Excavated from Saqqara
Brooklyn #57.178, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
Photo © Joan Lansberry, 2008-2016