A Loan exchange with the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology

The Carlos Museum has closely cooperated on a number of projects with the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology at the University of Michigan, including work at Abydos to better understand the context of Emory’s Old Kingdom mummy.  Another collaborative project is a loan exchange of objects for display. Reverend Shelton purchased a number of decorated Predynastic pottery vessels at Abydos with iconic scenes of funerary boats. While the Carlos Museum displays the best one, we had similar examples in storage.  The Kelsey did not have an example of this important class of object for display and teaching, but they do have a great many funerary stela from the site of Terenouthis in Egypt. So the two Museums negotiated a long-term loan exchange so that each could show the other’s objects in the galleries.
These stela date to around the early 4th Century A.D. and reflect the influence of Greco-Roman culture in Egypt. Michigan excavated part of the vast cemetery of Kom Abu Billou that was the graveyard for the town of Terenouthis. The tombs had chapels with decorated altars that housed small limestone stela that depicted the tomb owner.  The stela on loan to the Carlos Museum has an inscription in Greek naming the owner as Heracledes. He is shown in a Roman toga reclining on a couch and drinking from a skyphos. While very Mediterranean in design, we still see Egyptian funerary tradition here as the jackal god, Anubis, is depicted in the corner keeping a watchful eye on the deceased.