The Stela of Sihathor, House Official of the Vizier Ankhu (Leiden AP 48): An Object from the Depot of Leiden’s National Museum of Antiquities


  • Tara Sikkel


Stela; 13th Dynasty; Late Middle Kingdom; Sihathor; Min-Horus-nakht; Osiris; Ankhu; Abydos; Thebe


The National Museum of Antiquities acquired stela Leiden AP 48 in 1829, but it remained primarily in the depot ever since. The inscriptions on the stela identify its dedicator, Sihathor, and the deity Min-Horus-nakht. The museum classified the stela as originating from Abydos and dating to the 11th or 12th dynasty (Middle Kingdom), but a detailed study concerning its provenance and dating remained forthcoming until recently. Ilin-Tomich’s new assessment of the stela unravels some uncertainties, but lacks an in-depth study of its text, images, and archaeological context. This paper aims to explore the text and palaeography of stela Leiden AP 48 in relation to its depictions in order to contribute to a better understanding of its context and dating as recently proposed. Several iconographic and palaeographic elements, and a reference to the Vizier Ankhu indicate that the stela dates to the second half of the 13th dynasty (Late Middle Kingdom/Early Second Intermediate Period) and was produced in Thebes, whilst the archaeological context connects it to the cult of Osiris in Abydos.