Dream Stele

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Dream Stele of Thutmosis IV
Great Sphinx with Stelae.jpg
Great Sphinx of Giza
Dream Stele is located in Egypt
Dream Stele
Shown within Egypt
LocationGiza, Egypt
RegionEgypt
Coordinates29°58′31″N 31°08′16″E / 29.97528°N 31.13778°E / 29.97528; 31.13778Coordinates: 29°58′31″N 31°08′16″E / 29.97528°N 31.13778°E / 29.97528; 31.13778
Dream Stele-(detail of lunette); reproduction at Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, San Jose.

The Dream Stele, also called the Sphinx Stele, is an epigraphic stele erected between the front paws of the Great Sphinx of Giza by the Ancient Egyptian pharaoh Thutmose IV in the first year of the king's reign, 1401 BC, during the 18th Dynasty. As was common with other New Kingdom rulers, the epigraph makes claim to a divine legitimisation to pharaohship.[1]

Text[edit]

Partial text:

"Now the statue of the very great Khepri [the Great Sphinx] rested in this place, great of fame, sacred of respect, the shade of Ra resting on him. Memphis and every city on its two sides came to him, their arms in adoration to his face, bearing great offerings for his Ka. One of these days it happened that prince Thutmose came travelling at the time of midday. He rested in the shadow of this great god. [Sleep and] dream [took possession of him] at the moment the sun was at zenith. Then he found the majesty of this noble god speaking from his own mouth like a father speaks to his son, and saying: "Look at me, observe me, my son Thutmose. I am your father Horemakhet-Khepri-Ra-Atum. I shall give to you the kingship [upon the land before the living]....[Behold, my condition is like one in illness], all [my limbs being ruined]. The sand of the desert, upon which I used to be, (now) confronts me; and it is in order to cause that you do what is in my heart that I have waited." "[2]

Stele description[edit]

Dream Stele, reproduction.

The Dream Stele is a vertical rectangular stele, 360 cm Ht, 218 cm W, 70 cm D. The upper scene lunette, shows Thutmose IV on the right and left making offerings to the Great Sphinx.

Medical analysis of the Stele[edit]

In 2012, Dr Hutan Ashrafian, a surgeon at Imperial College London, analysed the early death of Thutmose IV and the premature deaths of other Eighteenth Dynasty pharaohs (including Tutankhamun and Akhenaten). He concluded that their early deaths were likely a result of a familial temporal epilepsy. (However, according to research findings from a new CT scan made on the mummy of Tutankhamun on January 5, led by Dr. Zahi Hawass, the left side of Tutankhamun's pelvis, ribs and heart were obliterated and/or missing entirely from his corpse, which suggests that he died quickly and violently.) This would account for the untimely mortality in Thutmose IV and can also explain his religious vision described on his Dream Stele due to this type of epilepsy's association with intense spiritual visions and religiosity.[3][dubious ]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Shaw, 2000, The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, p.254.
  2. ^ Shaw, 2000, p.254.
  3. ^ Ashrafian, Hutan. "Familial epilepsy in the pharaohs of ancient Egypt's eighteenth dynasty". Epilepsy Behav. 25: 23–31. doi:10.1016/j.yebeh.2012.06.014. PMID 22980077.

References[edit]

  • Shaw, 2000, The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, Ian Shaw, Ed., Oxford University Press 2000, {hardcover, ISBN 0-19-815034-2}