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Records of the Past, 2nd Series, Vol. IV , ed. by A.H. Sayce, [1890], at

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Translated by D. Mallet

This hymn to Osiris is engraved on a semi-circular stele of limestone which forms part of the collection of the Bibliothèque Nationale at Paris. It comprises 28 lines of hieroglyphics, in a very good state of preservation, excepting only that the name of the god Amon, which once figured in several proper names, has been carefully chiselled out, in the age of the so-called heretic kings Khu-n-Aten (Amenophis IV) and his successors.

The text may have been sculptured on the stele in the time of the eighteenth dynasty—Chabas has remarked that the wife of Amon-mes, the father of Amon-em-ha, bore the same name as the favourite wife of Amenophis I—but it reproduces a religious work of more ancient date, which goes back at least to the epoch of the twelfth dynasty, as is shown on the one hand by the small number of determinatives and on the other by the use of certain formulæ, e.g. the position of the father's name before that of the son: "Osiris son Horus" in the sense of "Horus

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son of Osiris." The references of the monument to the cult of Osiris are consequently very ancient, and they thus possess all the greater importance for the history of the Egyptian religion.

The text has been reproduced for the first time and translated by Chabas in the Revue archéologique (May-June 1857), from a squeeze furnished him by Devéria. Chabas published a new translation, which differed considerably from the first, in the first series of Records of the Past, vol. vi. pp. 99 sqq.

The semicircular part of the stele is divided into two compartments. At the top is the ring in the form of a seal, accompanied by the two sacred eyes. The first compartment includes two scenes of unequal importance. On the left, Amon-em-ha presents the table of offerings, filled with provisions of all sorts, to his father and mother, seated side by side in a large armchair, the wife resting the left hand, as usual, on the shoulder of her husband. Behind the chair is a child, with a long lock of hair, who puts his left hand to his mouth and holds a flower in the right. Behind him runs a vertical inscription: "His son Amon-em-ua." Above the two seated personages we read: "The superintendent of the oxen Amon-mes; his wife, the mistress of the house, Nofri-t-ari." Above the table of offerings is: "His son Amon-em-ha." On the right, a person clothed in a panther's skin, the characteristic garb of the priests, presents a seated lady, "the mistress Baki-t, deceased"—doubtless another wife of Amon-mes—

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with an incense-burner which has a long handle like an arm, while with the other hand he pours out a libation of water over a double altar, and the legend engraved before him runs: "The Khri-heb of Osiris, the son, comes."

The second compartment is occupied by a series of six kneeling persons, whose faces are turned to the right; their names are engraved in a vertical direction in front of each of them:—"His son Si-t-Maut; his son Amon-ken; his daughter Meri-t; his daughter Amon-bai-t; his daughter Suten-Maut; his daughter Hui-em-nuter."

Next comes the hymn itself, which occupies the rest of the stele.

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