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Ancient Egyptian Texts:  5.11


STELAS OF MUT-MIN AND NEHEM-SET-RAT-TAWY


Text:   (A) Vienna ńS 236   ,   (B) Cairo JE 88877
Date:   Late 4th century B.C.
Script:   Hieroglyphic
Translated by:   (A) J. Budka, T. Mekis & M-C. Bruwier   ,   (B) A. Zayed
Format:   see key to translations

These are two examples of a distinctive type of funerary stela, the 'divine decree'.   Mut-min was the wife of a priest, Djed-Khonsu-iuf-ankh, and had at least four sons.   Nehem-set-Rat-tawy was possibly the wife of a High Priest of Amun, Nes-Pawty-tawy, and had at least one son, called Wesir-wer.

If Nehem-set-Rat-tawy is correctly identified, then by coincidence the husbands of both these women were named in a demotic document (P. Brussels 8255b), dated to 311 B.C.   The document was written by Djed-Khonsu-iuf-ankh, and witnessed by Nes-Pawty-tawy. The two men were distantly related: Nes-Pawty-tawy was the brother-in-law of the uncle of Djed-Khonsu-iuf-ankh. Nes-Pawty-tawy was also the cousin of the wife of Ankh-pa-hered, who appears in an inscription dated 320 B.C. ( AET 9.11 ).

Some further information about the family of Mut-Min has survived, because the family members were buried in tomb TT 414 in the El-Assasif necropolis. The family tree has been reconstructed by J. Budka and T. Mekis, "The family of Pa-di-Amun-neb-nesut-tawy from Thebes (TT 414) revisited", p. 86 ( PDF ).

The translation of A is taken from J. Budka, T. Mekis & M-C. Bruwier, "Reuse of Saite temple tombs in the Asasif during the early Ptolemaic time", pp.223-226 ( PDF ). The translation of B is adapted from A. Zayed, in ASAE 56, pp. 93-102 ( archive.org ).


  stela of Nehem
          (R-L) : Nehem-set-Rat-tawy , Anubis , Osiris, Isis , Nephthys , Horus, Hathor , Wepwawet   [ detail of Cairo JE 88877 ]



[A]   { Mut-min }

{ Text above the register with pictorial decoration: }

[Words spoken] by the Osiris, sistrum-player of Amun-Rê, Mut-Min, justified, daughter of the God's father and prophet of Amun in Karnak, Ankh-pa-hered, justified, born of the mistress of the house, sistrum-player of Amun-Rê, Ta-ukesh, justified, mistress of the house and mother of the great God's fathers Pa-kher-en-Khonsu and Pa-di-Amun-neb-nesut-tawy. The words [are]: O, the one who covers with gold dust {sunlight}, the one who radiates beauty . . .

{ Main text: }

1 Royal decree issued by the Majesty of Upper and Lower Egypt Wenennefer-the-justified to the [great] gods in the [district] of Igeret, to the blessed spirits in the hall of Osiris, to the glorified ones in the great hall, to the [followers of the funerary bed,] 2 beside Osiris, the vizier and judge in the district of Igeret, to the gods and goddesses who are in the mound of Djeme, and to the bas in the West of Thebes. The divine decree announces:

O, all you gods: Keep silent! Keep silent, all around! Listen to the words of [Amun-Rê, Lord-of-the- Thrones-of-the-Two-Lands,] 3 [who is foremost of the temple of Karnak, Atum, the Lord-of-the-Two-Lands and of Heliopolis, Ptah, who-is-South-of-his-Wall, Lord-of-life-of-the-Two-Lands and Nun, the great, the father-of-the-gods when they say:

4 . . . The Osiris sistrum-player of Amun-Rê, Mut-min, justified, daughter of the Godís father and prophet of Amun in Karnak, Ankh-pa-hered, justified, born of the mistress of the house, sistrum-player of Amun-Rê, Takushit, justified] let her enter to you, let her enter the first room of the West, the secret palace [of the Lord-of-All] 5 [Make free a rise to her] in the necropolis, [like Rê, who ascends from the earth]. May praise be given to her and adoration in front of her. Cause her to rise besides her funerary bed, her sarcophagus being purified.

May she not be fearful in her body and cause [that those who are coming against her will be repelled] 6 and she shall be powerful in respect. Let her have power and raise her to the divine has. Place her into the purified Djebat of Rê, so that no harm can reach inside.

Unite her with 7 the life and rejuvenate her in the old age, her walking shall be firm and her power great, she shall be honored among the honored ones.

Open to her the spring of life and let her throat be flown by water. Place her on the great funerary bed while Isis is] 8 mourning her and Nephthys is lamenting over her, she is under the protection of Osiris who is the foremost of the westerns, Wenennefer-the-justified; cause to her all respect. She is under the protection of Re-Harakhty, dappeled of feathers, who steps out from the Horizon, [place her] 9 in the presence of Weseret, so she shall be under the protection of Amun-Rê, Lord-of-the-Thrones- of-the-Two-Lands, the Foremost of Karnak.

She is the god who is inspiring fear in the necropolis. May be opened for her the [great] doors [of the territory of] 10 Igeret, in every moment when she appears, the Osiris sistrum-player of Amun-Rê Mut-Min, justified, daughter of the Godís father and prophet of Amun in Karnak, prophet of Khonsu, [Ankh-pa-hered, justified ...]

11 [She is that great god, the venerable mummy, she reaches the Sacred Land in welfare, her heart is just, and there is not any fault that can be found and the attendants of the balance absolve her.] 12 Let her ba be able to land at any place where she likes, while her body remains in the west part of Thebes.

Osiris sistrum-player of Amun-Rê, Mut- Min, justified . . . 13 Words spoken: O doorkeepers of the Westerners keepers of the Mound of Djeme, excellent bas on the noble Ished-tree, open [to me the Imehet] in its entire. [Let] 14 me enter after you.

Being reported [to] all [of the lords of Igeret] from the [royal] decree, [made for her/me...]

[B]   { Nehem-set-Rat-tawy }

1 Royal decree made by his Majesty Wenennefer, king of Upper and Lower Egypt, [addressed to the] great gods in the realm of the afterlife, [to the] spirits in the hall of Osiris, [to the] praised ones in the great hall, [to the] followers lying beside Osiris, the great judge in the realm of the afterlife, 2[to the] gods and goddesses who dwell in the mound of Djeme, [to the] silent souls west of Thebes; a divine decree saying:

O all of these gods beyond! to be repeated four times! Obey the speech of Amon-RÍ, Lord of the Thrones-of-the-Two-Lands, presiding over Ipet-isut, of Atum Master-of-the-Two-Lands and of Heliopolis, 3 of Ptah who is to the south of his wall, lord of Ankhtawi, of the great Nun, father of the gods, saying:

[When] the Osiris, musician of Amon-RÍ Nehem-set-Rat-tawy, justified, daughter of the divine father and ḥpt wḏȝt Ankh-pa-hered and born to the musician of Amon-RÍ, the lady Isis-weret, justified, 4 enters near you, ensure that she [has access] to the first room in the West; it is the palace of the Universal Master that you reserve for her, [for her] who appears in the necropolis as RÍ surmounting the earth. [Grant her] adoration and the sa-ta [rite] for her strength. Permit her to rise up near her bed; her chapel being pure, she is not afraid.

Let her push her enemies away from her, let her impose herself by the fear she inspires, may she be strong! Raise her above the souls of the gods. Give her access to the pure sanctuary of RÍ, inside which she will not encounter impurities.

Unite her with life, rejuvenate her in old age! May her steps be firm, may her strength be active, may she thus become a noble among nobles.

Open up the source of life for her, then make her cross the water, with her throat staying above. Let her [have access] to the secret sanctuary, since she is surrounded by the influence of the one who is south of his wall. May she [have a place] in the great bed, Isis weeping and Nephthys lamenting for her, being protected by the influence of Osiris, the leader of the West Wenennefer. Give her the right to all the honours, since she is under the influence emanating from RÍ-Horakhti with speckled plumage, coming out of the horizon. Put her in the presence of Wosret, since she is under the protection of Amon-RÍ, Lord-of-the-Thrones-of-the-Two-Lands, presiding over Ipet-isut.

She is that great god whose terror fills the necropolis; because she came through the great doors in the domain of the beyond, where she appears at every moment, the Osiris, musician of Amon-RÍ, Nehem-set-Rat-tawy, justified, born to the musician of Amon-RÍ, the lady Isis-weret, justified.

She is that god, great and noble; [for] she has reached the sacred ground in perfect condition; her heart is just, there is no fault in it, and the keepers of the balance have absolved her. May her ba come to the place she loves, while her body remains in Thebes!

Words to be said by the Osiris, musician of Amon-RÍ, Nehem-set-Rat-tawy, justified:   O builders attached to the mound of Djeme, silent souls in the noble ished tree, open the door completely to me in the other world. Allow me to enter your home.

It is reported to the Masters of the Hereafter in the decree made by the lord of the gods that I am an imakh of his city, praised by the god of his city. Look inside my body, there is no fault.


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