Shabti of Seti I - ROM2019_17387_31


Shabti of Seti I

Medium:Steatite, glazed and incised
Geography: Probably from tomb of Seti I in Valley of the Kings, Luxor, Egypt
Date: c. 1294-1279 BC
Period: Probably reign of Seti I, 19th Dynasty, New Kingdom
12.5 × 4.5 × 2.6 cm
Object number: 940.21.1
On view
Gallery Location:Galleries of Africa: Egypt

This small human-form figurine may be one of the hundreds of shabti figures placed in the tomb of King Seti I, the founder of Egypt’s 19th Dynasty and father of Ramesses II. Seti’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings (KV17) was uncovered by Giovanni Belzoni in 1817. Belzoni mentions finding an immense quantity of small mummy figures, mostly made of wood, but also some made of baked earth coloured blue. Two horizontal bands of text are preserved below the arms of the figure. The bottom of the figure is missing and has been restored.

The prenomen of Seti I (Men-ma`at-Ra) is given in the first line and his nomen (Seti, beloved of Ptah) is given in the second line; both are written in cartouches. The text is from chapter 6 of the Book of the Dead and was meant to assist the deceased in the Afterlife by performing any required manual labour. With arms placed across his waist, the figure holds a hoe in each hand in order to help with such tasks as irrigating the river banks, cultivating the fields, and transporting sand from the west to east.

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