Colossal Stele Ptolemy VIII

Over six meters tall, this monumental stele has unfortunately been subject to the indignities of time. Broken into numerous fragments, its surface, inscribed with hieroglyphic and Greek texts, could not resist the seawater. Little of the Greek text can be made out. Nevertheless much of the hieroglyphic portion of the document can be read and interpreted. The stele was erected under the joint reign of Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II and his two wifes, during the period 141/140-131 or 124-116 BC. The exact date of the inscription is lost. The text essentially includes data relating to the local concerns of the priests of Thonis-Heracleion, like the recuperation of priestly revenues and of a right to asylum.
Publication on this topic: La stèle de Ptlolémée VIII Évergète II à Héracléion



A fragment of the stele appears during excavation
Map of the fragments
Lifting a fragment to the surface
Stele on barge
Silicone moulding
Detail of silicone imprint
During restoration
Restored stele
Restored stele at exhibition in Turin, Italy