Shabti of Ankhefenbastet - ROM2019_17387_13


Shabti of Ankhefenbastet

Medium:Glazed composition (faience), painted and inscribed
Geography: Probably from Abydos, Egypt
Date: c. 1069-945 BC
Period: 21st Dynasty, 3rd Intermediate Period
12.1 × 4.1 × 3.5 cm
Object number: 910.23.31
On view
Gallery Location:Galleries of Africa: Egypt

Shabtis are small mummiform 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. In the 3rd Intermediate Period it became common for tomb owners to be provided with a shabti for every day of the year. These would be organized into groups of ten workers, each under the control of an officer, or overseer. This is a worker shabti.

He wears a lappet wig painted black with underlying surface forming a turquoise seshed headband tied at back with loop & two streamers painted in black. The ears, eyes, nose and mouth are modelled with the eyes, and brows lined in black paint. There is no beard. The arms are held level across the chest, with the wrists crossed. The right hand holds a hoe and the left hand holds a cord which connects to a square seed basket hung over the right shoulder.  Both of these were outlined in a red paint applied post firing. Below the waist the body is subtly modelled with the buttocks indicated on the back. There is a single framed vertical column of text from waist to ankle with the name Ankhefenbastet, which translates as "He lives for (the cat goddess) Bastet. The feet project forward and the figure stands on a 1 cm high rectangular plinth.

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