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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Egypt Centre, Swansea: Thank you Griffith Institute -it's amazing what you can find out online!

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Thank you Griffith Institute -it's amazing what you can find out online!
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 2016 11:14:00 +0000
From: (Carolyn Graves-Brown)

Thank you Griffith Institute -it's amazing what you can find out online! Last term we had a few MA students in the Egypt Centre looking at 'real' hieroglyphs (instead of ones in books). One of the things we looked at was the Tjenti stela, a 5th Dynasty lintel from Saqqara in our upstairs gallery. As we were going to look at this I tried to find out a bit more. I'm no expert on Saqqara, the 5th Dynasty, or hieroglyphs but was really lucky. An online document from the Griffith Institute which gives some useful background information, and also from the Porter and Moss (Topographical Bibliography) volumes now online.

But first here is a pic of the lintel:

And here is a line drawing of it:

This is what we made the translation out as: An offering which the king gives and which Anubis Lord of the sacred Land gives, so that he may be buried in the beautiful and great land of the west. Voice offerings of bread and beer, oxen and fowl on the festival of every day for the Overseer of the Craftsmen, Tjenti. His wife's name is given behind the couple as Ni'ankh-hathor

But I am puzzled by the sign underneath the bread, bottom right. Is it a variation on the sign for cloth. Clearly I need to do more research here.

Back to its history. Some time ago, an outside researcher drew my attention to the Amherst collection, which is online at the Griffith Institute. The key information regarding the stela's history as belonging to the Amherst and Portalès-Gorgier collection can be found online at: The document also states it was sold as lot 194. 

But what did I find out purely by googling:

The Topographical Bibliography (III.2.762) mentions that a lintel of Thenti and his wife Ni'ankh-hathor appears in the Wilkinson MSS xiii.71 and Gardiner Notebook 66 p. 18. The Gardiner Notebook is that list of Amherst artefacts compiled by Crum (Galán, J.M 2000, Brief Communications, JEA 86 p.148, footnote 25). I don't know about the Wilkinson MSS. This isn't online so will have to go to Oxford for that.

I  found online that Comte James Alexandre de Pourtalès-Gorgier was a banker and art collector (1776-1855). He created a gallery of antiquities in Paris. After his death, Lord Amherst of Hackney purchased some of his artefacts. This item was resold in the Sotheby Sales of June 13th-17th 1921.

But I'm still not sure about that sign below the bread sign- more book research as opposed to googling needed here! And of course the Wilkinson MSS.

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