Shabti of Herdsman Paiw - 927.16.2_1


Shabti of Herdsman Paiw

Medium:Limestone, carved and painted
Geography: Undetermined site, Egypt
Date: c. 1186-1069 BC
Period: 20th Dynasty, Ramesside Period, New Kingdom
13.4 x 3.8 cm
Object number: 927.16.2
Not on view

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.  This is one of a group of four shabtis of the Herdsman Paiw, which came to the Museum from the same source. They are unusual as they are made of stone with details rendered largely in black paint and with the shabti text painted on the back of the figure. It is uncertain whether or not they are fully finished or whether some of the black lines were originally intended to guide further carving.

This limestone shabti has been minimally shaped like a cylinder with the ends of the elbows indicating a basic mummiform shape. Details have been added in black paint.  The face is well carved with modelled eyes, nose, mouth, and chin.  The eyes and brows have been outlined in black. There is no beard. The lappet wig is painted black with a rounded back and front lappets curving inward. An incision with pink colour marks the edge of the wig across the forehead. The ears are not indicated. The chest area is uncarved and the hands and arms are indicated in an outline of black paint, left over right. The hands are fists, the right one appears to be holding a rudimentally drawn hoe which hangs over the left shoulder. A curved incision with pink colour marks the underside of the crossed arms. The kilt below the waist is indicated by a square in black paint. The legs are indicated by vertical black lines that turn inward to mark the foot. There is a small projection in which the toes are indicated in black  paint. There is no plinth, but a basically flat base. A single line of vertical text with the shabti formula is painted on the back of the figure.

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