Shabti box of the Lady Tadira - ROM2019_17136_1


Shabti box of the Lady Tadira

Medium:Wood, gesso, paint
Geography: Probably from Luxor, Egypt
Date: c. 715-656 BC
Period: 25th (Kushite) Dynasty, 3rd Intermediate Period
12.8 x 29.4 cm
Object number: 948.34.163.A
Credit Line: Gift of Sir Robert Mond
Not on view

This is a typical shabti container from the 7th century BC of a type found in tombs in western Thebes. Shabtis are small human-form 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 Third Intermediate Period it became customary to produce sets of ca 364 shabtis, one for each day of the year; sometimes further overseer shabtis were added to supervise the workers. This pleasant shabti box belonged to Tadira (Ta-di'-Re'), daughter of Hor, a priest of Montu.  She bears the ordinary title of Lady of the House and the very unusual title of Mother of the Lord of the House of Seren.

This shabti box  ismade from five pieces of wood ca. 1.5-2 cm thick, held together with wooden dowels. The outer side surfaces of the box are covered with a thick white paint or whitewash. The end boards project about 5.5 cm above the side boards and are roughly arched. The bottom board is only painted on the sides. A single horizontal line of painted text surrounds the box , varying in width from 6.5-7 cm. The text contains an offering prayer for the deceased and is framed by narrow red bands on top and bottom with black outlines. The glyphs are done with blue paint outlined in black. This box is type VII(c) in Aston’s typology. Type VII is a small shabti box with rounded end boards and a flat lid. Type c refers to the decorative style of a single band of horizontal text running around the centre of the box and a boat painted on the lid.

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