Shabti of Ankhefenbastet - ROM2019_17387_21


Shabti of Ankhefenbastet

Medium:Glazed composition (faience), painted and inscribed
Geography: Probably from Abydos, Egypt
Date: c. 818-715 BC
Period: 23rd Dynasty, 3rd Intermediate Period
10.25 × 3.58 × 2.5 cm
Object number: 910.23.7
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 bag wig with a seshed headband tied at the 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. The arms are held level across the chest, but the fists do not touch. The right hand holds a hoe outlined in black paint.  The left hand holds a cord which goes over the left shoulder to a black painted plain square basket with loop & cord. Below the waist the body is subtly modelled with the buttocks on the back and a suggestion of the abdomen.  There is a single framed vertical column of text from waist to ankle with the name Ankhefenbastet. The feet project forward and the figure stands on a 1 cm high rectangular plinth.

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