Shabtis (or ushabtis) were figurines in mummified form, which were placed in Egyptian tombs to do any work required by the deceased in the afterlife. They were inscribed with a special formula (Shabti formula), which would call them to life when recited. Sometimes shabtis were also inscribed with passages from the Book of the Dead, the intention of which was to secure safety for the deceased in the afterlife. This is presumably the role of the hieroglyphics on this item. Shabtis were mostly made of faience, but wood, bronze, and stone were also used – it is rare for shabtis to be made from alabaster, as this one is, providing a conspicuous indicator of the wealth of its previous owner. Towards the Late Period, the number of shabtis inside the tomb increased, eventually allowing one for each day of the year.