Stele of Princess Nefertiabet

The King’s relatives, such as Princess Nefertiabet, Khufu’s daughter—depicted on this relief stele found in her tomb (G 1225) in Giza—were buried beside the sovereign’s pyramid.

Nefertiabet is shown seated facing right. She is depicted with a long wig and a panther-skin garment. An offering table in front of her bears reeds, as is common, indicating “[the products of the] field”, as well as sundry other foodstuffs.

Stele of Princess Nefertiabet and her Food
Stele of Princess Nefertiabet and her Food

Under the table offerings are depicted including linen and ointment on the left, and on the right offerings of bread, beer, oryx, and bull. On the right of the slab a linen list is depicted.

Her tomb originally contained one shaft, which contained the burial of Nefertiabet. The shaft comprises a passage and a chamber. Fragments of a white limestone coffin with a flat lid were found.

A canopic pit had been dug in one of the corners of the chamber. The chamber contained several bowls and jars. An annex with one additional burial shaft was added later, but was found emptied. Steles representing the deceased’s nourishment in the afterlife were the principal element of Egyptian funerary art. This is one of the most ancient and best preserved.

Nefertiabet was a princess during the reign of King Khufu; the best artists of the day were called upon to portray her food for the afterlife.

Old Kingdom, 4th Dynasty, ca. 2590-2565 BC. Limestone and paint; height: 37.7 cm, length: 52.5 cm, depth: 8.3 cm. Now in the Louvre, Paris. E 15591 E 22745