Small stela of Hornakht with titles and names


Small stela of Hornakht with titles and names  [ edit ]

The six lines of cursive hieroglyphic text on this small stone contain the name of Hornakht and the members of his immediate family. Despite its unimpressive scale and simple decoration, the ink text preserved the name and memory of its owner and his relatives as effectively as larger, more formal monuments. The outline encompassing the text is that of a formal, round-topped stela, showing this to be a monument in spite of its diminutive size. Writing--from detailed hieroglyphs to modest ink signs--transformed a simple piece of stone, from a pebble to a monumental stela, or other medium into a commemorative object. Although these names could appear in a text as mundane as a contract, the style of the signs--cursive hieroglyphs and not pure cursive script--and the outline have a magical, transformative power.

Translation (numbers correspond to lines on the stela):

1Hornakht, 2born of Tetu.
3His wife, Renesankh, 4born of Nebetiunet.
5His son, Hornakht.
6His brother, Dedu.


Middle Kingdom


H. 9.9cm, W. 8.8cm, D. 3.3cm




Yale Peabody Museum

Accession Number

ANT 261382