Uninscribed Shabti - ROM2016_15146_45


Uninscribed Shabti

Medium:Glazed composition (faience)
Geography: Excavated at Cemetery G, Abydos, Egypt
Date: c. 399-343 BC
Period: 29th-30th Dynasty, Late Period
14.3 × 4.5 × 3.7 cm
Object number: 910.23.63
On view
Gallery Location:Galleries of Africa: Egypt

Shabtis were small human-shaped 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. This mummiform shabti has a pale turquoise blue glaze on the body with a dark blue wig, beard and ends of implements.

The decoration indicates a date in the 4th century BCE. He wears a plain tripartite wig and a divine beard modelled with horizontal lines. Facial features are simply modelled, including an archaic smile. Hands appear from under the cloak pointing outward; the right hand holds narrow hoe and cord, while the left hand holds a hand pick. A rectangular bag with diagonal mesh is modelled over left shoulder. On back is a shallow dorsal pillar that extends the full length of the figure below the defined horizontal bottom of the wig.

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