Religion Past and Present

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(303 words)

[German Version]

A stela is a hewn, finished stone, left in its natural state or decorated with inscriptions or iconographic elements (painted, incised, sculpted, carved in relief ) set up to serve as a marker of the presence (or at times the dwelling) of a deity or a deified ancestor for cultic purposes, sometimes with juridical potential (cultic stela, betyl; at Mari, Ugarit, Emar: sikkanu), a votive offering to a deity (votive stela), a memorial to a deceased person (sepulchral stela; Arab., Aram. npš), a witness to a legal transaction such as a treaty, or a marker of a ki…

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Berlejung, Angelika, “Stela”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 01 October 2020 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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