By Samuel Birch, LL.D.

[Extracted from TSBA, 3, (1874), 486-95.]

Read 1st December, 1874

See Plates I & II

The inscription of which it is here proposed to give some account, is one that has for some time been known to Egyptologists, although it has not to my knowledge been published. It occurs on the back of a black granite group of two seated statues in the Museum of Turin, and an impression in paper was made of it by Mr. Bonomi on the occasion of his visit to Italy last year, and from it the accompanying drawing has been made. The group and purport of the inscription have been several times described and once figured, but the text of the inscription has not yet been published, as already mentioned. The group was originally nearly nine feet high, and represented the monarch Haremhebi or Horus1 seated on his throne, holding a sceptre of life in his left hand, and a sceptre in his right hand, which is raised against his breast. The female figure is evidently a queen, for it wears on the head the vulture attire, emblem of a queen mother, and above a cylindrical headdress or modius of uraei, and above that were formerly the two plumes of the goddess Athor, a common characteristic of goddesses and royal persons.2 She places her left hand on the shoulder of the king in mark of affection. There were originally three inscriptions, one on each side of the throne, and one behind. That on the side of the king has disappeared. Of the other, at the side of the queen, 19 [p.487] hieroglyphs were alone visible, but amongst them are the name of the royal lady Mutnetem, or Netemmut, called the "gracious mother " or "pleasing mother." At the side of the throne, where the queen is seated, she is represented as a sphinx, and is the only female one found on all the monuments of Egypt. The scene behind the throne apparently represented the king kneeling in adoration to one of the principal deities of Egypt, probably Amen Ra. To this god, indeed, in his various types, Horus showed the greatest homage and deference. He is represented of smaller proportions, standing at the side of a throne, on which Amen Ra3 is seated, and he stands also of smaller proportions at the side of the god Khem on a monument of the British Museum.4 It was in fact to Horus that the revival of the worship of Amen Ra, and the abolition of the heresy of the worship of the disk, was due. The inscription at the back consists of 26 lines, and there was apparently about 40 more hieroglyphs at the commencement of the first, which contained the date of the erection of the statue, which was supposed by Champollion5 to have been due to a decree of the priests to place the statue of Horus and Mutnetem in one of the temples, probably of Karnak, and the text appears to refer to the coronation of Horus. After the praises of the monarch, Horus is supposed to compare the queen to Sati, Nishem, Buto, Isis and Nephthys, and to institute great honours to Horus, and to inaugurate the placing of other statues in the different temples of Egypt. In fact it has been called the prelude of the Rosetta Stone. The queen is supposed to be the daughter and successor of her father Haremhebi or Horus, and it is with her that the XXVIIIth dynasty is supposed to end.6 It is this statue that has given rise to the hypothesis that the queen is the daughter of Horus, for in the 15th line is mentioned "his noble daughter," supposed to refer to this queen. The succession of the dynasty, however, after the fall of the usurper [p.488] Ai, is not very clear, for although Ai figures in the court of the heretical Khuenaten as a priest and leading person of the period, on his elevation to the throne he appears to have reinstated the worship of Amen Ra, or at least conformed to it. There is one remarkable fact, that the princes of Ethiopia, Hui and Amenhetp, who acted as viceroys in the reign of Amenophis III, also held the same posts in that of the monarch Tutankhamen, which renders it possible either that Tutankhamen succeeded Amenophis III, or that the heretical monarchs never obtained the jurisdiction over the south. Although conquests of Horus over the "natives of Kush" are mentioned in the inscriptions of Silsilis, no Ethiopian prince of his reign is known, but Horus showed his aversion of the heretical worship of the disk by demolishing their Theban monuments, and applying the materials, with their faces reversed and placed inwards, for the elevation of his pylon or triumphal gateway at the south side of Karnak. At Luxor he also built a grand portico with enormous columns, in honour of Amen Ra, in his type of Khnum or the demiurgos, and made a dromos or alley of ram-headed sphinxes. It will be observed that Horus was one of the monarchs most devoted to the worship of Amen, yet the inscription does not scruple to mention, in the 20th line, "that the circuit of the aten" or solar disk "was handed over to him," showing that the name of the disk was not forbidden to be mentioned although its cultus had been overthrown.7 It is probable that Horus had come to the crown when quite a lad, for he is mentioned as [glyphs]8 au f em hun nen sarut f, " He was a boy, he had not grown up."9 This fact seems to render it doubtful if Horus was not descended from some female who had the hereditary right to the crown, and if Mutnetem may not be his mother, for her association as equal to the king, and [p.489] her appearance as a sphinx shows that she enjoyed the right of sovereignty in her own person. If she was the daughter of Horus she might of course have been associated with him in the empire in default of male issue, but these equal rights were more often shared by mothers and sisters than by daughters, nor will it be observed is any queen or wife of Horus known on the monuments. It will be also seen from the seventh line, that the declarations of the monarch gave satisfaction to the party of the restoration, but unfortunately no information is afforded of the manner in which the heretics at the close of the XVIIIth Dynasty fell, nor is there any allusion to the immediate predecessor of the king. In the 10th line the usual submissions or embassies of the Ninebows or foreigners of the North and South are mentioned. In the 12th line there seems to be an allusion to his elevation of heir-apparent, for it states "passed by these the eldest or preferred son of Horus in the gate of heaven as prince of that land like him—i.e., Horus—for that noble god made him Horus lord of the palace; it pleased his heart to set up his son on his throne for ever!" It appears from line 13 that Horus was [glyphs] 'proclaimed' or 'exhibited' as king in the Temple of Amen. And this seems from the subsequent lines to have taken place on the occasion of one of the great festivals in honour of Amen Ra at Thebes.10 It is on the 15th line that a singular piece of historical information is conveyed: "He led them to that chief, the heir-apparent dwelling in the two lands Haremhebi; he went to the royal palace; he placed him before him at the home of his very noble11 daughter." It appears that she too subsequently participated in the ceremonies on the occasion, for "she laid the offerings before the gods of the altar, who rejoiced at the coronation of the king." The gods are subsequently mentioned, and in the following paragraphs is their speech, and not that of the priests on the occasion of his coronation. For it must here [p.490] be remarked that such expressions as giving to the king "the festivals of the Sun," "and the years of Horus," are more appropriate to a discourse of the gods than to the declarations of the priests, who could have possessed no such power. It is a proof that the three principal cities of Egypt remained the same, for the power or will of the king is said to have prevailed in Thebes, Heliopolis, and Memphis. It is on this that he received the full royal titles. The king, it also states, repaired the temples, which no doubt had been overthrown by the disk worshippers; after which follows the unusual expression "the body of Ateh and Kenus." The first has been recognised, a city of the Northern nomes, and in Takans the nome of Nubia. The gods also state that the king "made all their forms" or "akhem" each before and behind beautiful and true, "for he made things at which the Sun rejoiced when he saw them, what of former time was defaced," a marked expression [glyphs] kam. Subsequently it is stated that "he sought (line 24) the cities, in which the gods were in the places of this land, and restored them as they were in times past and before." He also endowed the temples with various gifts for the daily service of the god Amen; appointed to their management different priests, and a select corps of soldiery, and gave fields and cattle for the morning services of the god Ra. It will be seen from this inscription that the queen is not mentioned as his daughter, and her relationship was probably mentioned at the injured side of the throne, where she was seated. The identification of her with Akencheres has been incorrect, for Akencheres is now discovered to be a form of the name Khuenaten or Akuenaten, the heretical Amenophis IV. Her name, Netemmut or Mutnetem, has no resemblance to it, while Akhuenaten is like Akhentheres, probably the true reading of the name. But all the epitomists make Horus succeeded by a daughter called Akenchres, or Chencheres, although, as three persons of this name appear in the lists, there is evidently a confusion or misplacement; and Netemmut neither has her figure borne in the ancestral procession, nor is registered in the regular succession of monarchs. The ecclesiastical writers placed the Exodus in her reign.


It will be seen from this inscription that the queen is not actually mentioned as his daughter; and Lepsius appears to have read her titles on this monument as "royal wife, mistress of the two countries." This identification of daughter is apparently due to the phrase about "the house of his noble daughter"; but if she was a royal lady or wife, who except Horus could have been her husband? Should she have had before this half-erased title that of "royal mother," it would explain the fact of her having been the mother of Horus, and a wife. Was she the wife of the monarch, the divine father Ai, and a daughter of one of the heretical kings or usurpers? It is impossible to tell; for although Tutankhamen and Ai both adored Amen Ra, their remains have been as remorselessly destroyed as those of the heretics. There is another statue of Horus m the British Museum very like in its adjuncts and composition to those of the Shepherds as pointed out by M. Mariette, and the sphinx of Mutnetem has on its head an attire very like Asiatic, and very unlike Egyptian style. There are a tablet and two jambs of a door in the collection of the British Museum12 of a person of the same name as the monarch, Haremhebi, who was a standard bearer of the period. This person was also heir-apparent or repa, and it may be suspected the same individual mentioned in line 15, and entitled "that chief who dwells in the two lands Haremhebi," for the Haremhebi of these monuments above cited wears an uraeus on the forehead as emblem of royalty, although his name does not appear in a cartouche. This remarkable fact is unique on Egyptian monuments, and can only be explained on the supposition that this Haremhebi was either an individual who had raised himself to the crown, or an independent ruler, or a king who had been deposed, but who had been allowed to retain in his sepulchre the emblem of his former power.

Line 1.—[The year—the—day of the month— of] the living Haremakhu, the powerful bull, maturing plans, lord of the vulture and uraeus diadem, chief of the Treasures in Thebes, [the hawk of gold] delighting in truth engendering the world, king of upper and lower Egypt, lord of the two [p.492] countries Ra Tser KHEPERU SATP en Ra, son of the Sun, lord of diadems Har-em-heb, beloved of Amen, Har, lord of the palace, good god.
Line 2.—.... Kamutf, Ra king of the gods nursed him, Har sa hesi protected in the rear of his limbs, he proceeded from the belly of Tebemssaf, a divine type in it, name.
Line 3.—... he has been laid on the arm as a child, he13 protected the land from the great to the little, he carried to it food and aliment. He was a youth; he had no prejudice.
Line 4.— ... of mankind a divine type in his shape to behold, victorious form of his father Horus; he placed him behind him for the protection of his created race, bringing all
Line 5.—.... letting him know the day when he was at peace, he gave him his kingdom; for that god appointed his son in the face of mankind, he delighted to enlarge the breadth of his step when he proceeded, the day of his receiving his title, he gave
Line 6.—. ... in face of the king, at rest in his property, rejoicing in his election,14 he placed him at the gate of the country to conduct the laws of the country as prince [or heir-apparent] of this land like him, one alone without a second, the plans
Line 7.—of men which came out of his mouth addressed before the prince of the palace, he went along to the opposition against him; he answered the king, he made pleasant to him that which came out of his mouth daily, not
Line 8.—all his plans in the footsteps of the Ibis,15 his services were the drops of the lord of Heser, exulting in his rights like Teti,16 ravished at them like Ptah watching the morning, his things belonging to him, giving


Line 9.—his property, treading on its17 path, it makes his protection on earth for the length of eternity. Lo it was to him directing the two countries for a time of many years, appointed
Line 10.—the principal persons submissive to the royal house, the chiefs of the nine bows [barbarians] of the North and South came to him, their hands spread out at his repulse. They adored him like a god, all things done were performed according to [his] orders.
Line 11.—at his approach, the great fear of him was before mankind, entreating of him health and strength; he opened his mouth, father of millions of perfect propositions18 of divine gifts to moor
Line 12.—.... passing by them the approved son of Horus from the gate of heaven as prince of this world like him. For lo to him this noble god Horus, lord of the palace, delighted his heart by establishing his son on his throne for ever [he] [he] ordered
Line 13.—.... of the house of Amen, passed Horus in exultation to Uas,19 all eternal city; his son at his installation at Thebes to be crowned in presence of Amen, he conferred on him his title of king, making his time. Lo
Line 14.—.... crowned in his good festival, dwelling in Southern Apet. The majesty of that god Horus, lord of the palace, beheld his son with him; as king he was shown; he gave him his title and throne. Lo! to him made Amen Ra to be penetrated with joy; he saw.
Line 15.—the day he made his peace offerings he brought them to that chief, the heir-apparent, residing in the two lands Haremhebi; he went forth to the palace; he placed them before him at the great shrine of his very noble daughter.


Line 16.—in honour, she united his beauties; she placed them in his fore part; the circle of the gods, lords of the abode of fire rejoiced at his crowning Nishem,20 Uati,21 Nit,22 Isis, Nephthys, Horus, Set, and the circle of the gods, altogether23 dwelling in the great seat
Line 17. ... proclaiming to the height of Nut, rejoicing to the peace of Amen, for Amen let his son come before him to the temple to place his crown on his head, to elevate his period of life like him, our images he placed to us.
Line 18 ... he gave us the decorations of the Sun, we glorify Amen through him, thou hast brought us our supporter. Give to him the triakonterides24 of the Sun, the years of Horus as king. He has made thy pleasure in Apet,25 An26 and Hakaptah;27 he ennobled them.
Line 19.... [beautiful] is the great name of that good god; he is entitled like the majesty of the Sun, "Horus, the powerful bull, great in plans, lord of the vulture and uraeus diadem, great in treasures in Apet, the golden hawk, pleasing in truth, the engenderer of two lands RA TSER KHEPERU approved of the Sun, the son of the Son Haremhebi beloved of Amen, giver of life, roceeding to the back of
Line 20.—the house of the Sun in the palace to the majesty of that noble god Amen king of the gods, his son before him, he united his beautiful decorations crowned in the helmet, for he conferred on him the circuit of the disk, the Ninebow barbarians were under his sandals, heaven [was] in a festival, the two countries rejoicing. The circle of the gods of the Ta Mera,28 their hearts [were] delighted.
Line 21.—Lo! at him created beings in joy cried to heaven above. Great and little, they earned their joy throughout the whole earth; they rejoiced upon the celebration of this festival of the dweller in Southern Thebes Amen Ra king of the gods coming in peace [to]


Line 22.—[to] Uas.29 His majesty went sailing as the image of Harmachis; for lo he took possession of that land, he obtained it for the time of the Sun. He repaired the temples of the gods [of] the body of Atah30 and Takans,31 he chiselled the types.
Line 23.—of us all as before, behind, in good truth; for he made things at which the Sun rejoiced to see them. The destroyed32 of former times he transported [them] to the house of his making, then conducted by the guardians of all tribes appointed with all that noble stones.
Line 24.—He sought the cities of the gods, which are in the places of that land. He possessed them as they were in times past, and before he augmented to them divine offerings daily all the vessels of their
Line 25.—temples, gilded with gold and silver, he prepared them with the priests and spondists with the elite of his army. He appointed for them fields and herds prepared with all things. They were timed for the adoration of the Sun.
Line 26.—Every morning thou hast been exalted by the dominions of thy Son doing thy will. RA TSER KHEPERU approved of the Sun. Give thou him millions of triakonterides; give them his powers over all lands, like Harsiesi for he has given satisfaction to thy heart in An, united to the circle of thy gods.


1 Rosellini, M.R., no liv. quinquies A. gives the figures. See also Gazzera, Deserizione d. Museo. R. d. Torino, pp. 45, 46.
2 The vulture indicated Mut "mother," but it is not quite sure that all queens were mothers, though generally so. Many queens have no such diadem. The king was lord of the vulture and uraeus, that is, lord of the two diadems, which represented Nishem of the upper, and Uat or Buto of the lower country.
3 Champollion Figeac, L'Egypte, Pl. 85, p. 320.
4 Egypt. Galleries, No. 5: Birch, Gallery of Antiquities, Pl. 36, No. 152.
5 Champollion, Lettres ecrites, 1824, p. 48 etc.
6 This idea was started by Champollion, Lettres ecrites, p. 48, and followed by other writers. Rosellini, Monumenti Storici, tom, iii, pt. i, 241, p. 291, hesitates
between "daughter" or "wife." Lepsius gives "wife."
7 Orcurti, Monumenti del R. Museo di Torino, 8vo. Torino, 1852, p. 59, 60; Gazzera, Deserizione, p. 46-51. Rosellini I, p. 240, iii, 271-290.
8 This word sart recurs line 11. This will be commented on in the text, p. 474, n. 2.
9 Or without intelligence, not arrived at man's estate. Sec Brugsch, Wortb., 8. 1263. A person intelligent or eloquent. The root rut means grown, determined.
10 Southern Apet.
11 It is usual to read [glyphs] as seps in the sense of noble, but seps occurs as [glyphs] seps, Lepsius, Denkm. iv, 70 d., apparently in the sense of lawful or legitimate.
12 Guide to the Egyptian Galleries' Vestibule, p. 36, Nos. 550-552.
13 [glyphs] kra; cf. Brugsch, Worterb., p. 1167, who cites this passage. Cf. Brugsch, Worterb., pp. 1263-64, sart or [Coptic] 'offence' or 'contrivance.'
14 [glyphs] satp 'election' or 'selection,' referring to a choice, but not stated by whom.
15 [glyphs] 'Thoth.' That is the bird Hah or 'Messenger,' the Ibis.
16 [glyphs] Teti. This form occurs on the Turin altar.
17 Or her path. She made his protection. "So she was." The feminine pronoun [glyphs] renders it doubtful if a goddess or the queen is not intended.
18 [glyphs] keh sarut. Cf. Brugsch, Wort , p 1263, sarat 'proposers' declared or 'thought.'
19 Western Thebes.
20 Or Nuneb.
21 Buto.
22 Neith.
23 [glyph] tum.
24 [glyph] set heb, 'thirty year festivals.'
25 Thebes, Heliopolis.
26 Heliopolis
27 Memphis.
28 Northern Egypt.
29 Western Thebes.
30 One of the Northern cities.
31 Name of Nubia.
32 The form kammhut with the same determinative of hair is found, Lepsius, Todt. e. 146, 8. Brugsch, Wortb., who reads this word 'widow.' Here it must mean defaced or spoiled. Possibly a variant of learn black.