Fragment of funerary alabaster stele representing the deceased in an idealized way, Yemen, 2nd-1st century B.C.

This fragment of stele stands out among stele typologies as it is made of alabaster, a more expensive and difficult to obtain material, and therefore denotes the purchasing power of its buyer. This stele, sculpted in an incisive way, represents an almost flat, geometric face, in which the nose stands out, which comes out directly at the same level as the forehead, in which we find the name of the deceased incised. The eyes, instead of being sunken, are characteristic of a semicircular shape in relief, with the ears and mouth only marked. Funeral steles referring to the Kingdom of Sheba are common. They are usually rectangular steles in which the deceased is represented in an idealized way, although it is not a portrait, but rather an assimilation to the human being. In these stelae, currently located geographically in Yemen, a simplified and geometric face usually stands out, as well as having the name of the deceased written in Sabah, his language. There is no doubt that the strength of the matriarchal and powerful society of the Kingdom of Sheba still remains in this piece.


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