The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe was inaugurated on this day in 2005

Word of the Day – Tuesday, May 10th



Word of the Day


Clever Clue of the Month

The Cruciverbalist


Daily Email


An upright stone used as a monument

Common clues: Votive stone; Ancient Roman burial stone; Inscribed pillar; Engraved marker; Memorial marker; Upright slab; Ancient monument

Crossword puzzle frequency: 2 times a year

Frequency in English language: 73414 / 86800

Video: Lost king of the Maya

A 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 or living—inscribed, carved in relief (bas-relief, sunken-relief, high-relief, etc), or painted onto the slab.

King Ezana's Stele in Axum, Ethiopia.

Stelae were also used as territorial markers, as the boundary stelae of Akhenaton at Amarna, or to commemorate military victories. They were widely used in the Ancient Near East, Greece, Egypt, Ethiopia, and, quite independently, in China and some Buddhist cultures (see the Nestorian Stele), and, more surely independently, by Mesoamerican civilisations, notably the Olmec and 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 stele of Tiglath-Pileser III is preserved in the British Museum. Two stelae built 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.

In 1489, 1512, and 1663 CE, the Kaifeng Jews of China left these stone monuments to preserve their origin and history. Despite repeated flooding of the Yellow River, destroying their synagogue time and time again, these stelae survived to tell their tale.

An obelisk is a specialized kind of stele. The High crosses of Ireland, Scotland and Wales i.e. Celtic areas of Britain are specialized stelae. A modern gravestone with its inscribed epitaph is also a kind of stele.

Most recently, in the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin, the architect Peter Eisenman created a field of some 2,700 blank stelae. The memorial is meant to be read not only as the field, but also as an erasure of datum that refers to memory of the Holocaust.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Stele".  

STELE (102) 19 We >1 06 Inscribed pillar STELA

16 Tu+ >1 07 Stone marker CAIRN

9 Mo+ >1 06 Engraved pillar STELA STLLE

5 Fr- >1 08 Memorial marker

5 Th+ >1 99 Stone pillar STELA

4 We >1 04 Commemorative marker

4 Mo+ >1 04 Inscribed stone STELA

00 Inscribed stone marker

3 We+ >1 96 Stone monument CAIRN

3 Tu >1 05 Upright slab

2 Th NYT 95 Ancient monument

2 Fr- NYT 09 Archaeological find RELIC SHARD

2 Fr NYT 96 Commemorative stone

2 Th- NYT 95 Grave marker STELA STONE

01 Inscribed stone slab

2 Th NYT 01 Marker NOTER

2 Th WaP 00 Monument

2 We- >1 96 Stone slab

1 Th LAT 09 "O Rare Ben Johnson" is engraved (in error) on one

1 Fr NYT 06 Ancient burial stone

1 Fr LAT 97 Ancient pillar

1 Th LAT 04 Carved pillar STELA

1 Tu NYT 96 Carved stone slab

1 Fr NYT 05 Commemorative piece

1 Sa NYT 87 Commemorative pillar STELA