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The Stelae of the Apis Bulls

A list of Kings who had stela left to the Apis Bulls at the Serapeum:

Apis Burials - 18th to the 26th Dynasties

Year ? Amenhotep III 18th Dynasty

Year ? Akhenaten ?

18th Dynasty

Year ? Tutankhamun

18th Dynasty

Year ? Horemheb

18th Dynasty

Year ? Horemheb

18th Dynasty

Year ? Seti I

19th Dynasty

Year 16 Ramesses II

19th Dynasty

Year 30 Ramesses II

19th Dynasty

Year ? Ramesses II

19th Dynasty

Year ? Ramesses II

19th Dynasty

Year ? Ramesses II

19th Dynasty

Year ? Ramesses II

19th Dynasty

Year ? Ramesses II or Siptah ?

19th Dynasty

Year ? Ramesses III

20th Dynasty

Year ? Ramesses VI

20th Dynasty

Year ? Ramesses IX ? or X?

20th Dynasty

Year ? Ramesses XI

20th Dynasty

Year ? Ramesses XI

20th Dynasty

Year ? Ramesses XI

20th Dynasty

Year 23 Osorkon II

22nd Dynasty

Year 14 Takelot ?

22nd Dynasty

Year 28 Shoshenk III

22nd Dynasty

Year 2 Pinay

22nd Dynasty

Year 11 Shoshenk V

22nd Dynasty

Year 37 Shoshenk V

22nd Dynasty

Year 6 Bakenranef / Year 2 Shabako

25th Dynasty

Year 4 Taharka ?

25th Dynasty

Year 24 Taharka

25th Dynasty

Year 21 Psamtek I

26th Dynasty

Year 52 Psamtek I

26th Dynasty

Details of Stelae:

Stela dating to the time of Ramesses II
'Year 30, third month of summer, day 21 of the Lord of the Two Lands Usermaatre-Setepenre, Lord of Diadems, Ramesses, may he be granted life like Rê. It happened that the majesty of the Apis departed to heaven, to rest in the embalming house under [the charge of] Anubis who is in the place of embalming, that he might mummify his body. The children of Horus raise him up while the lector-priest recites glorifications'.
Later in the text reference is made to the length of both the mummification process and also the rites involved - this texts shows that the whole procedure was the same for Apis Bulls as it was for humans (70 days for the complete mummification process, lector priests and Sem-priests perfoming the Opening of the Mouth ceremony).

The Pasenhor Stela - 22nd Dynasty

 Introduction of the aforementioned god [Osiris-Apis] to his father [Ptah] in Year 12, 4th month of Peret, day 4 of King 'Akheperra', Son of Ra', Shoshenq. He was born in Year 11 of his Person. He came to rest in his place in the Sacred Land in Year 37, 3rd month of Akhet, day 27 of his Person.

May he give life, stability, health, and joy to his Beloved Son, the priest of Neith, the God's Father (?), Pasenhor - the son of the Mayor, Overseer of the South (?), Overseer of the Prophets in Heracleopolis Overseer of the Troops, Hemptah; born of the Prophet of Hathor of Heracleopolis, his sister, the Lady of the Household, Iretiru - the son of (the same titles) Pasenhor; born of the Sistrum Bearer of Arsaphes, King of the Two Lands, Ruler of the Two Banks, Ptahdedes (?) - the son of (the same titles) Hemptah, begotten by the same titles) Tjaenkemet - the son of (the same titles) Djedptahefankh; begotten by the Prophet of Hathor of Heracleopolis, the King's Daughter , the Lady of the Household, Tentsepeh - the (royal) son of (the same titles) Nimlot; begotten by the Sistrum Bearer of Arsaphes ..., Tentsepeh - the son of the Lord of the Two Lands Osorkon, begotten by Djed-mutes'ankh - the (royal) son of Takelot, and the God's Mother Kapes - the (royal) son of Osorkon, and the God's Mother Tashedkhons - the (royal) son of Shoshenq, and the God's Mother Ka-ra'ma't - (and the God's Father, the Great Chief Nimlot, and the God's Mother Tent-sepeh - the son of (the same titles) Shoshenq- begotten by the Mother of the King Mehtenvreskhet - the son of (the same titles) Paihuty - the son of (the same titles) Nebneshi the son of (the same titles) Mawasan - the son of the Libyan Buyuwawa.

 

I. Memorial Stone of the Priest and Seer of the Apis Bull, Senebef, son of Shed-Nefer-Tmu, and of his son, the Memphite Priest Hor-Heb.
'In the Year [2], the month [Mekhir], on the [1st] day, under the reign of King
Pa-mai, the friend of the Apis-god in the West. This is the day on which this (deceased) god was carried to the beautiful region of the West, and was laid at rest in the grave, at rest with the great god, with Osiris, with Anpu, and with the goddesses of the netherworld, in the West. His introduction into the temple of Ptah beside his father, the Memphite god Ptah, had taken place in the year 29, in the month Paophi, in the time of King Shashanq III'.

II. Memorial Stone of the High Priest of Memphis, Pet-Ise.
'In the Year 2, the month Mekhir, on the 1st day, under the reign of King Pa-mai, the friend of the great god Apis in the West. - This is the day on which the god was carried to his rest, in the beautiful region of the West, and was laid in the grave, and on which he was deposited in his everlasting house and and in his eternal abode. He was born in the Year 28, in the times of the deceased King Shashanq III. His glory was sought for in all places of Patomit (Lower Egypt). He was found, after (some) months, in the city of Ha-shed-abot. They had searched through the lakes of Natho and all the islands of Patomit. He had been solemnly introduced into the temple of Ptah, beside his father, the Memphite god Ptah of the south wall, by the high-priest in the temple of Ptah, the general of the Mashauasha, Pet-Ise, the son of the high-priest [of Memphis and the great chief of the] Mashuasha, Takeleth, and of the princess of royal race, Thes-Bast-per, in the year 28, in the month Paophi, on the 1st day. The full lifetime of this god amounted to 26 years'.


III. Memorial Stone ofthe Memphite Priest Hor-se-Ise.

'In the Year 2, the month Mekhir, the 1st day, under the reign of King Pa-mai, the friend of the great god Apis in the West, the god was carried to his rest in the beautiful region of the West. He had been solemnly introduced into the temple of Ptah beside his father, the Memphite god Ptah of the south wall, in the year . . . . . . under the reign of King Shashanq . . . . [in the year] 5 [+?] after he had shown his . . . . . . , after they had sought for [his glory. . . . . ]. The full lifetime of this god amounted to 26 years. (This tablet is dedicated) by the hereditary [prince] (here follows a string of titles in the priestly style) Hor-se-Ise, the son of the High Priest of Memphis and chief of the Mashuasha, Pet-Ise, and of the eldest of the wives . . . . . [and by the . . . . . ] Takeleth, whose mother Ta-ti-Hor . . . . . . is.

 

Memorial Stone of the Satrap Pet-Ise, and his sons Pef-Tot-Bast and Takeleth.
'In the 28th year of King Shashanq
, may he grant health, life, prosperity, to the general of the Mashuasha, Pet-Ise, the son of the general Takeleth - his mother is Thes-Bast-per - the son of the first and greatest of the princely heirs of his Majesty Shashanq, the son of the king and lord of the land, Uasarken II.
And to his venerator and friend, the high-priest of Ptah, Pef-tot-Bast, the son of the general Pet-Ise, whose mother is Ta-ari, a daughter of the general Takeleth, -
And to his venerator and friend, the priest of Ptah, Takeleth, the son of the general Pet-Ise and of (his wife) Hor-set.

 

Stelae relating to the kings of the 26th Dynasty:
Tablet I

'Year 20, month Mesori, day 20, under the reign of King Psamt
hek I, the majesty of the living Apis departed to heaven. This god was carried in peace (to his burial) to the beautiful land of the West, in the Year 21, month Paophi, day 25; having been born in the 26th year of the king of Upper Egypt, Taharaqa; and after having been inaugurated at Memphis in the month Pharmuthi, on day 9'.
(A total of 21 years).

Tablet II
(After the full name of king Psamthek I....)
'In the Year 52
under the reign of this god, information was brought to his Majesty: "The temple of thy father Osiris-Apis, with what is therein, is in no choice condition. Look at the sacred corpses (the bulls), in what a state they are! Decay has usurped its place in their chambers". Then his majesty gave orders to make a renovation in his temple. It was made more beautiful than it had been before.
His Majesty caused all that is due to a god to be performed for him (the deceased bull) on the day of his burial. All the dignitaries took the oversight of what had to be overseen. The sacred corpse was embalmed with spices, and the cere-cloths were of byssus, the fabric becoming for all the gods. His chambers were panelled with ket-wood, sycomore-wood, acacia-wood, and the best sorts of wood. Their carvings were the likenesses of men in a chamber of state. A courtier of the king was appointed specially for the office of imposing a contribution for the work on the inner country and the lower country of Egypt'.
This explains how in Year 52 of Psamthek I's reign he undertook to expand the existing Serapeum with a new gallery (with panelled woodwork as the inscription notes).

Tablet III
'Year 16, month Khoiakh, day 16, under the reign of King Neku, the ever-living, the friend of Apis-Osiris. This is the day of the burial of this god, and of the arrival of this god in peace into the nether world. His interment was accomplished at his burial place in his holy house in the Libyan desert near Memphis, after they had fulfullied for him all that is customary in the chambers of purifaction, as has been done from early times.
He was born in the year 53, in the month Mekhir, on the 19th day, under the reign of King Psamthek I. He was brought into the temple of Ptah (of Memphis) in the Year 54, in the month Athyr, on the 12th day. His union with life took place [in the year 16], month Paophi, day 6. The whole duration of his life amounted to 16 years, 7 months, 17 days.
His Majesty King Neku II supplied all the costs and everything else in splendour and glory for this sublime god. He built his subterranean tomb of fine white limestone in well-wrought workmanship. The like of it was never done before'.

Tablet IV

'Year 12, month Payni, day 21, under the reign of the king Uah-ab-Ra (Hophra), the friend of Apis-Osiris, the god was carried in peace to the good region of the West. His interment was accomplished in the West of the Libyan Desert near Memphis, after they had fulfilled for him all that is customary in the chambers of purification. The like was never done since the early times.
This god departed to heaven in the Year 12, month Pharmuthi, day 12. He was born in the year 16, month Paophi, day 7, under the reign of King Neku II, the ever living. His introduction into the temple of Ptah took place in the year 1, month Epiphi, day 9, under the reign of King Psamthek II. The full life-time of this god was 17 years, 6 months, 5 days.
The god-like benefactor Uah-ab-Ra supplied all the costs and everything else in splendour and glory for this sublime god. Thus has he done for him, who bestows life and prosperity for ever.

Tablet V
'Year 23, month Pakhons, day 15, under the reign of King Khnum-ab-Ra (Amasis), who bestows life for ever, the god was carried in peace to the good region of the West. His interment in the nether world was accomplished, in the place which his Majesty had prepared - never had the like been done since early times - after they had fulfilled for him all that is customary, in the chambers of purification; for his Majesty bore in mind what Horus had done for his father Osiris. He had a great sarcophagus of rose granite made for him, because his majesty approved the custom, that all the kings in every age had caused it to be made out of costly stone. He caused curtains of woven stuffs to be made as coverings for the south side and the north side (of the sarcophagus). He had his talismans put therein, and all his ornaments of gold and costly precious stones. They were prepared more splendidly than ever before, for his Majesty had loved the living Apis better than all kings.
The holiness of this god went to heaven in the year 23, month Phamenoth, day 6. His birth took place in the year 5, month Tehuti, day 7; his inauguration at Memphis in the month Payni, day 8. The full lifetime of this god amounted to 18 years, 6 months. "This was done for him by Aahmes-se-Nit, who bestows pure life for ever"'.