Donation Stela with a Curse
Limestone, 20 1/2 x 12 3/4 x 2 1/2 in., 41 lb. (52.1 x 32.4 x 6.4 cm, 18.6kg)
Third Intermediate Period, XXII Dynasty, year 22 of Shoshenq III, ca. 804 B.C.E.
Found at Mendes, Egypt
Brooklyn #67.118, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
Photo © Joan Lansberry, May 2008-2016
That dark shape is my shadow, a look at the museum photo reveals only the small black blotches as imperfections:|
Photo © Brooklyn Museum
(From the info card):
"This stela, which once stood in or near a temple, commemorates a donation of land to that temple, and its text promises dire punishments to anyone misappropriating the land. In modern times the media have made much of Egyptian curses, especially that of King Tutankhamun's tomb. That curse was in fact an invention of a newspaper reporter, inspired by the sudden death of Lord Carnarvon, the sponsor of the archaeological expedition, several months after he attended the opening of the tomb in 1922. Nevertheless, the ancient Egyptians did aim curses against tomb and temple violators, and they believed it was magic (heqa) in the form of written and spoken words that made those curses possible and effective."
Wiki states of hieratic that "It was also the writing system first taught to students, knowledge of hieroglyphs being limited to a small minority who were given additional training", citing Baines, John R. (1983). "Literacy and Ancient Egyptian Society". They wanted the maximum number of people to be able to read the curse.