It began with some unexpected Set sightings a week ago. They weren't very exciting, one being crude, and the other half missing. But
Wilkinson gave hint of better,
the "late Second Dynasty inscribed stone slab from Helwan[which] belonged to a royal priest called Nefer-Set, 'Seth is beautiful', Saad 1957: 51-3, pl. XXX [no. 25])." I was determined to find this, so I sent for a book written by the author Toby A. H. Wilkinson mentioned, 'Saad'. It wasn't the one from 1957, but from 1969. Perhaps _The Excavations at Helwan_ by Zaki Y. Saad would have this 'stone slab'.|
Nowhere in this book did I find mention of this priest. But I did find an intriguing stela, and I gazed closely at its hieroglyphs. Being from the Old Kingdom, they weren't the usual ones for Set, or even 'beautiful'. But the more I looked at it, the more I was certain I'd located Wilkinson's piece.
"Many different forms of the name of Seth occur in the Egyptian texts..."
"Often combined with one of the usual determinatives of gods or one of the different forms of the Seth-animal..."
(From TeVelde, _Seth, God of Confusion_)
The hieroglyphs in this stela do not closely resemble any of those seen above:
'Nefer' means 'beautiful, good', 'Neter'(Netjer) means 'god' (Budge)
|However, hieroglyphs in the early Dynasties were still evolving, and they used many composites, combining meanings to form a new meaning. (See _The Evolution of Composite Hieroglyphs in Ancient Egypt_, by Henry G. Fischer, Metropolitan Museum Journal, Vol. 12) While the stela doesn't use the 'T' TeVelde shows, it does use another 'T', a symbol which appears to me like a grasping tong. With the composite 'beautiful god', and the usual 'S', and this unusual 'T', it is showing 'Seth is beautiful', and therefore most likely the stela of the royal priest.|