Stela

From Academic Kids

Stele is also a concept in plant biology.
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Egyptian_funerary_stela.jpg
Ancient Egyptian funerary stela

A stela, or stele, is a stone or wooden slab, generally taller than it is wide, erected for funerary or commemorative purposes, most usually decorated with the names and titles of the deceased inscribed, carved in relief or painted onto the slab. The word derives from the Greek stele, "standing block".

Stelae were also used as territorial markers, as the boundary stelae of Akhenaton at Amarna, or commemorated military victories. They were widely used in the Ancient Near East, Greece and Egypt, and, quite independently, in China (see the Nestorian Stele, and, more surely independently, by Mesoamerican civilisations, notably the Maya. The huge number of stelae surviving from ancient Egypt and in Central America constitute one of the largest and most significant sources of information on those civilisations. An informative stela of Tiglath-Pileser III is preserved in the British Museum. Two stelae bulit into the walls of a church are major documents relating to the Etruscan language.

Unfinished standing stones, set up without inscriptions from Libya in North Africa to Scotland were monuments of pre-literate Megalithic cultures in the Late Stone Age.

An obelisk is a specialized kind of stela. The High crosses of Ireland and Celtic areas of Britain are specialized stelae.

A modern gravestone with its inscribed epitaph is also a kind of stela.

Stelae with individual entries

See also

de:Stele ja:石碑 pl:Stela

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