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The Bowers Museum

Ancient "Funerary Stela"

Ancient "Funerary Stela"

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From: The Bowers Museum
Limited Edition: 15
Exhibition: Queen of Sheba: Legend and Reality…Treasures from the British Museum
Material: Printed 2-ply vinyl
Dimensions: 35" x 95" (88cm x 241cm)

Hanging Hardware Included


The Queen of Sheba is often considered a myth, a mystery, or a majesty. The fact of the matter is that she may well have been a bit of each. Looking into the factual, and fantastical, history of this fabled queen, the Bowers Museum's exhibition "Queen of Sheba: Legend and Reality...Treasures from the British Museum" explored art inspired by this larger-than-life ruler. 15 banners are available featuring an image of the queen carved on a 1st century BC funerary stela.


The Bowers Museum’s exhibition Queen of Sheba: Legend and Reality…Treasures from the British Museum shed light on this enigmatic queen known through time as a legendary figure, great beauty, and powerful but kind leader. Archaeological evidence was coupled with depictions of the queen throughout the ages to pull together the various pieces of her story. Mentioned in the sacred texts of Jews, Muslims, and Christians, the Queen of Sheba (or Saba, as the kingdom is also known, believed to be in current day Yemen) is most known for the story of her visit to the court of King Solomon in Israel. She brought a wealth of gifts, and per biblical text “King Solomon gave the Queen of Sheba all she desired, whatsoever it was”. Sheba and Solomon are even believed to be the progenitors of Ethiopian royalty. The well-known story of her visit to Solomon, and his wooing of the queen, was highlighted as recently as 1967 on stamps issued by Yemen.

These banners feature an image of a Sabaen woman carved into a calcite-alabaster funerary stela around the 1st century BC. Stelae were placed in the tombs to affirm a belief in the afterlife, and to ensure that a person’s “soul” and “identity” would travel with them to the next life. Above and below the image are red bands. White text above reads “October 17, 2004 - March 13, 2005” and below “Bowers Museum/Santa Ana”. The other side of the banner is red with white text that reads “Queen of Sheba/Legend and Reality…treasures from the British Museum”.


These banners were displayed around Santa Ana, California from October 17, 2004 - March 13, 2005 to promote the exhibition Queen of Sheba: Legend and Reality, Treasures from the British Museum at the Bowers Museum.

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