Stick Shabti - ROM2019_17387_33


Stick Shabti

Geography: Probably from Luxor (ancient Thebes), Egypt
Date: c. 1650-1550 BC
Period: 17th Dynasty, 2nd Intermediate Period
17.2 x 1.9 cm
Object number: 948.34.27
Credit Line: Gift of Sir Robert Mond
On view
Gallery Location:Galleries of Africa: Egypt

Crudely shaped wooden shabtis that resemble sticks are characteristic of Dynasty 17 in the Theban region. Perhaps the twig shape evoked the fertility and vitality of a growing tree to the benefit of the deceased. Alternatively, the small sticks may have been a byproduct of the coffin making process. At this period there is generally only one shabti in a tomb, which would perform corvée  labour for the deceased in the afterlife. The black painted hieratic inscription is written on the front of the figure turned sideways and continuing on the back. It begins with the words "O Shabti."  The anthropoid shape is indicated by a roughly shaped skull over a tubular body that ends at the foot with a slight projection. Otherwise there are no attributes. The grain of the wood is visible as are four knots in the wood

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