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Stela of Tjenti and Nefret

A work made of limestone.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of limestone.


Old Kingdom, mid–Dynasty 4, about 2566–2532 BCE


Egyptian; probably tomb G 3035, Giza, Egypt

About this artwork

Seated on a cushioned chair, an official named Tjenti extends his hand toward a table covered in tall loaves of bread. His wife, Nefret, strikes a similar pose opposite him. Scenes depicting families around a table laden with food for the afterlife were a standard decoration in ancient Egyptian tombs for generations. Displayed in chapels where descendants gathered to remember the dead, these images were eternal family portraits, ensuring an afterlife populated with loved ones. Here, Tjenti and Nefret are shown with their son Tjenti (standing on the right) and granddaughter Nefer-Hathor, who holds her index finger to her lips in a gesture symbolic of childhood. Following Egyptian artistic conventions, the figures are represented at different scales that denote their status within the family.


On View, Gallery 50


Arts of Africa


Ancient Egyptian


Stela of Tjenti and Nefret


Egypt (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

2524 BCE–2400 BCE




The "...judge and scribe Thent" appears sitting opposite his wife. Over table listed "incense,.." below hopes for a "thousand of beer, a thousand of clothing..." The hieroglyphic texts enumerate the offerings that were desired to sustain Thenti and his family in the afterlife. In addition to food, he requests clothing, linen, incense, green and black eye paint, and material used in the embalming process.


55.9 × 87.6 × 11.4 cm (22 × 34 1/2 × 4 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Museum Purchase Fund

Reference Number


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