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Funerary stela pediment

The dove, a symbol of the Holy Spirit, is popular in Christian iconography. The motif is frequent in Coptic art, mainly on funerary stelae presenting the same kind of composition as above. A praying figure with two crosses or a stylized crux gemmata cross is usually shown between the columns. The motif of a dove is also known from wall painting; numerous representations of doves are known from murals in the hermitages at Esna in Upper Egypt and elsewhere.

Stela of man from Kom Abou Billou from the 1st half of the 3rd century

The deceased rests on a couch with mattress in a repetition of a composition that is already known from the Stela of the son of Chairemon and Isidora. The differences are insignificant: a wreath held in the extended right hand and a different arrangement of the feet, which are crossed in this case. Both the mattress and the pillows are decorated with rhomboids. The features of the face are not very clear, but a flat wide nose predominates.

Fragment of stela with three figures

The composition appears in an engraved aedicula with a triangular pediment supported on straight columns (the column on the right is preserved). Two figures are depicted on the stela: a woman reclining on a couch and another woman standing before her in a prayerful attitude. The scene may be reconstructed despite considerable damage; presumably there was a third praying figure depicted on the right side.

Stela of woman from Kom Abou Billou

The upper preserved part of the stela shows an aedicula constructed of a semicircular pediment supported on two plain columns with papyrus capitals. The deceased is shown frontally, but with the right leg in profile. She is reclining on a mattress, supported on her left elbow resting on two pillows. In her right hand, which is unnaturally long, she holds a bowl. Her dress consists of a chiton and himation arranged in semicircular folds. The long her falling to her breasts is pushed back behind the ears. Her face has been hammered away. Opposite her there is an engraved representation of a sitting jackal. The animal with a long snout and raised tail is shown facing her.

Stela with four figures from Kom Abu Billou

A “family” stela showing a married couple (?) and two children in prayerful attitudes, one above their feet and the other opposite them. The adults, who are missing the upper bodies and heads, are depicted on a coach with mattress, one in front of the other, supporting themselves each on the left elbow resting on two pillows. Compositions with several figures are rare on stelae from Kom Abu Billou.

Stela of Bes from Kom Abu Billou

The stela with deceased shown in prayer in the inly such example among the objects from Kom Abou Billou in Polish collections. The style of a stela, dated to 300 based on the archeological context, is similar, although not exactly the same. Modeling of the details of the figure and of the dress suggests an earlier dating for this object.

Stela of man from Kom Abou Billou

On the preserved bottom half of the relief the deceased is shown reclining on a kline with mattress, supported on two pillows. He is dressed in a chiton and himation, with right leg in profile, left shown frontally. The funerary repast is suggested by two sheaves of corn and an amphora in between, next to which stands a three-legged table with horizontal bar.

Stela of man from Kom Abou Billou

Banquet scene inside an aedicula consisting of two flat columns supporting a semicircular pediment, now lost. A papyrus capital is still visible on the column to the right. The deceased is depicted as a partaker in a banquet, reclining on a couch with two pillows and mattress. Horizontal engraved lines below the representation were intended for an inscription.

Tomb stele from Ginari Tafah 3

The third of the tomb steles found in the region of Lower Nubia, which belongs to the Archaeological Museum of Kraków. Similarly to the two remaining ones, the stele bears an inscription in the Old Nubian language. The inscription on the stele contains numerous grammar mistakes, mostly influenced by the Old Nubian language.

Tomb stele from Ginari Tafah 2

The stele comes from the Christian necropolis in Lower Nubia (present day Egypt). It is one of the three stelae from that region presented on our website and one of seven stelae stored in Poland. The inscription placed on the stele is written in the Old Nubian language, which is indicated, for example, by the use of colons for dividing numbers.

Stele of the son of Chairemon and Isidora from Kom Abou Billou

The stele was purchased in Cairo at Eli Albert and Joseph Abermayor by soldiers of the Polish Independent Carpathian Rifle Brigade during WW II. The scene depicts a deceased man lying on a klinai and a female orant standing opposite. The man lying in the bed is dressed in a short-sleeved chiton and a himation rolled at the waist, wrapped around his left hand. In his right, outstretched hand he is holding a kantharos. The woman standing in front of him is depicted en face, she is dressed in the same way as the man and is raising her hands in a gesture of prayer. Under the scene an inscription is placed. The name of the deceased has been preserved only partially; perhaps it was Sosas. The name of his father was Chairemon; the name of Isidora is also there, popular in Egypt in the Roman period. The figures are bound together by family ties.

Tomb stele from Ginari Tafah

The sculpture was purchased in Cairo by soldiers of the Polish Independent Carpathian Rifle Brigade during WW II. The stele comes from the Christian site in Lower Nubia (present day Egypt) in Ginari Tafah. The tombstone is topped with an imitation of a conch. Traces of dark red paint on the tombstone indicate that it must have been painted originally. The epitaph begins with the formula declaring the death of the person called Elisabeth.