Nakhy's beautiful stela
Nakhy would have had had precious little spare time on his hands.
He lived in Deir el-Medina, the gated community on the west bank at Thebes which was home to the elite artisans who worked on the royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings. When they weren't furnishing the king with his magnificent home for eternity, they worked on their own.
This limestone stele likely came from Nakhy's tomb chapel. This top features Nakhy, arms raised in adoration of the gods Osiris and Anubis, who holds the ankh, symbol of eternal life. The presentation of the table laden with bread ensures that Nakhy never goes hungry in the afterlife.
Stylistically, the stela is dated to the end of the 18th Dynasty, probably during the reign of Tutankhamun or his successor, Ay. It was during this time that Egypt's traditional 'godmos' was restored following the controversial reign of Tutankhamun's father, Akhenaten, who promoted one deity to reign over all others: Aten, the power of the sun disc.
This fabulous stela (numbered 50010) is in the collection of the recently renovated Egyptian Museum in Turin. It comes in fact from the very beginnings of the museum, in 1824, when King Charles Felix purchased the vast 'Drovetti Collection' to found the museum.
Bernardino Drovetti was an Italian who was posted to Egypt by Napoleon as a consul to protect and promote French interests, and became in time, Consul-General. Napoleon's Egyptian expedition fuelled a huge appetite for all things Egyptian and Drovetti saw his position as a wonderful opportunity to make a lot of money.
Drovetti spent 26 years in Egypt and sold his vast collections to museums and royal families across Europe. If you look carefully, you can still see his name inscribed in a number of temples along the Nile.
Photo: Hen Magonza