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Stele

STELE (stē'lē, Gr. stele, an erect block or shaft). The custom of erecting stone markers, usually upright narrow slabs, prevailed among ancient Egyptians. They were placed in tombs and public buildings where they honored people of high estate. The Hebrews do not seem to have adopted the custom, probably because it was felt they violated the fourth commandment (Exod.20.4). A noted stele showing a Moabite victory over Israel was found in Beth Shan in a.d. 1868. The Grecian stele was the forerunner of modern gravestones.