Shabtis or ushabtis are among the most numerous of all Egyptian antiquities, as they played a major role in funeral rites. Indeed, they were intended to act as servants for the deceased and to perform any manual labour for their master in the afterlife. For this to be possible, it was necessary that each shabti present in the grave had the name of their master inscribed on it and also a summoning spell to which they replied. In fact, shabti – or ushabti – translates as “the answerer”. Such figurines could also be inscribed with passages from the Book of the Dead, the intention of which was to secure safety for the deceased in the afterlife.
The name Djed-khonsu-iwef-ankh appears on various shabtis, located across the World. There are also various attributes and titles attested to this individual, including ‘Overseer of the Double Granery’, ‘Beloved of the gods’ and the ‘Wab-priest of Amun’. The variety of title would insinuate that there was more than one person with the name Djed-khonsu-iwef-ankh. This particular shabti asserts that it was found in Abydos, found in Cemetery E, tomb 296, from the North Cemeteries. Shabtis of the same form, with the same titles, situated in the National Museum of Antiquities (Rijksmuseum van Oudheden) in Leiden and the Liverpool World Museum also give the same provenance.
To discover more about Egyptian shabtis, please visit our relevant blog post: How Ancient Egyptian Shabtis and Funerary Statuettes Watched Over the Dead.