Shabti of Queen Nefertari - ROM2019_17387_1


Shabti of Queen Nefertari

Medium:Wood, covered with bitumen and painted
Geography: Probably from Valley of the Queens, Tomb of Queen Nefertari (QV 66), Luxor, Egypt
Date: c. 1295-1186 BC
Period: 19th Dynasty, Ramesside Period, New Kingdom
16.35 × 4.45 × 3.1 cm
Object number: 910.23.1
On view
Gallery Location:Galleries of Africa: Egypt

The Italian archaeologist Ernesto Schiaparelli uncovered the Tomb of Queen Nefertari (QV66) in 1904. Although the tomb had been plundered, the wall paintings were beautifully preserved. Most of the material uncovered by Schiaparelli is in the Museo Egizio – the Egyptian Museum – in Turin, Italy. Among the remains in the tomb were about 30 shabti figures, one of which was acquired by Charles T. Currelly and brought back to Toronto; other examples are found in the collection of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Thes shabtis are small human-form figurines placed in tombs to assist the deceased in the afterworld with corvée labour, as detailed in Spell 6 of The Book of the Dead.

Nafertari's funerary figures are of a characteristic type, carved from wood completely covered in black bitumen. Details have been added in gold or a yellow ochre paint.  Her mummiform figure is depicted wearing a tripartite wig.  The face is well modelled with eyes, nose, mouth and ears. The tip of the nose is damaged.  Horizontal painted lines betwwen the wig lappets indicate a broad collar. Her upper arms are held straight down with the lower arms modelled in a diagonal position, crossing right over left.  Both hands are modelled fists holding gold painted hoes. There is a small mesh bag painted in gold over the left shoulder. Below the folded arms the lower part of the figure is decorated with four horizontal registers with gold painted text containing the cartouche of Queen Nefertari-mer-en-Mut (wife of Rameses II).

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