Egypt Picture - The Metternich Stela

The Metternich Stela

The Metternich Stela




The Metternich Stela


In antiquity, the Metternich Stela's magical role was to protect against the evil ways of wild animals, scorpions and serpents. Dominated by a delicately carved vignette showing Horus the child pacifying a variety of noxious beasts ('Horus on the crocodiles'), the remainder of the monolith is covered, it its entirety, with a collection of potent spells. Water poured over these texts would absorb their power, and could be used medicinally to miraculous effect - as the texts themselves say, 'to seal the mouth of all reptiles in heaven or earth or in the water, to save the people, to pacify the gods, to glorify Re'.

Such dangers were always present in ancient Egypt, and small versions of the Metternich Stela, containing a more restricted range of texts, were common and necessary items of domestic equipment from the 25th Dynasty on.

Click Here for Picture of the Day Archive

Note: If you have a picture you would like featured, please email to with "Egypt Picture of the Day" in subject line.