|Stela of Hotep.
||Inv No M13860.
|| Depth 35cm
The XII dynasty round – topped stela, provenance unknown, of Hotep the overseer of the funerary workshop, came into the hands of the Liverpool museum as part of a private collection bequeathed by Joseph Mayer in 1867.
The stela is carved in sunken relief on polished red granite, the incised hieroglyphic text is in six horizontal registers, being originally painted with a blue pigment. An impressive stela in good condition considering its age. Partly biographical and partly funerary ritual, the biographical part informs us Hotep had a responsible position as overseer of the funerary workshop. Where no doubt grave goods were manufactured for the flourishing trade, his position of overseer would entitle Hotep to the finest quality products for his own journey to the land of Osiris. The second part of the stela contains the standard funerary offering ritual assuring the gods were nourished and Hotep as one of the blessed dead would be sustained for all time. On the lower half of the stela are three individuals all moving in the same direction to the right, and carrying a staff in the left hand and a sceptre of authority in the right hand, all wearing identical kilts, broad collars, bracelets all three adorned with shoulder length tightly curled wigs. The bottom two registers read:
Born of Khnum- Hotep, son of the blessed one, the attendant Khnumu, born of Khnum- Hotep, son of Khnumu, confirmation of the three individuals portrayed, Hotep the overseer of the funerary workshop, his father Khnumhotep and the attendant Khnumu.
The creator god Khnum gained a certain amount of prominence in the Middle Kingdom, his cult centre was on Elephanline Island at Aswan. The observant detective will have noticed, the coffin of Khnum-nakht also of the same period on pages 120/121.