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  • image M448

Stela of Senaa-ib

Professor Margaret Murray proposed a date of c.900 BC (XXIInd Dynasty). More recent scholarship (see W. Grajetzki, 2003) identifies Senaa-ib as a High Steward of the Middle Kingdom (mid-Dynasty 11–Dynasty 13, c. 2030–1640 B.C).


Height: 51.5cm
Width: 27.5cm

Museum number: M448

Vermeule catalogue number: Vermeule 32help-vermeule-catalogue-number

On display: Basement West Corridor
All spaces are in No. 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields unless identified as in No. 12, Soane's first house. For tours https://www.soane.org/your-visit

Curatorial note

Above: Shen - sign between two sacred eyes.
Middle: Seven vertical lines of inscription. The four lines on the left read from right to left; the three lines on the right read from left to right.
"May Up-uaut-Rê, Lord of Abydos, give a royal offering. May he give funerary offerings of bread and beer for the Ka of the Seal-bearer of Lower Egypt, the Overseer of the Great House, Senaa-ib, deceased. Mya Ptah-Sokar, Lord of Sacrifices, give a royal offering. May he give funerary offerings of bread, beer, cattle and birds, for the Ka of the Lady of the House, Har-em-heb."
Lower: Senaa-ib seated, facing right, holding, fly-flap in left hand, indeterminate object in right. The chair has bulls' legs, and a cushion on the seat.

In front of Senaa-ib, facing towards him is a kneeling woman; below her, facing the same way, is a kneeling man.

Dividing them from the main figure is a vertical line of hieroglyphs reading from left to right: "For the Ka of the Overseer of the scribes of the rolls, Senbet-ef, born of the Lady of the House, Yat-yb, deceased."

In Dr. Murray's original catalogue entry the transliteration Senaa-yb was used; the spelling of the name has been updated to that used by Egyptologists today.

Provenance help-art-provenance

Unrecorded. In Soane's collection by 1834 when it is shown in a watercolour view of the basement west corridor, 'View in the "Belzoni Chamber" from the South West Angle' (Vol. 83/125). In 1836 this stele was commented upon by a Dr. C. Leemans of Leiden, Netherlands in correspondence with Sir John Soane (Soane Archive: cupboard F: documents relating to the description of the Sarcophagus). It seems likely that the two stele in Soane's collection, this one and Vermeule 31/M447 were acquired together and from the same source.


Jean Capart, 'Some Egyptian Antiquities in the Soane Museum', PSBA (Proceedings of the Society for Biblical Archaeology) 29, 1907, p.311-314.
D. Franke, 'Personendaten aus dem Mittleren Reich', Agyptologische Abhandlungen 41, 1984, dossier 607.
Wolfram Grajetzki, Die hochsten Beamten der agyptischen Zentralverwaltung zur Zeit dse Mittleren Reiches, 2000, 103, III.57c.
Wolfram Grajetzki, 'Two Monuments of the High Steward Senaa-ib of the Middle Kingdom', Revue d'Egyptologie (La Societe Francaise d'Egyptologie) Vol. 54, Paris, Editions Peeters, 2003, pp.270-274.

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