Shabtis (or Ushabtis) were figurines in mummified form, which were placed in Egyptian tombs to perform any manual labour required by the deceased in the afterlife. This particular statuette is a Shabtis Overseer, responsible for coordinating the work of other ushabtis. During the Third Intermediate Period, the number of shabtis allocated to an individual increased substantially. A total of 401 shabtis were often included; 365 ‘worker’ shabtis and 36 ‘overseer’ types, with ten workers assigned to each overseer. With an increase in demand, shabtis became smaller in size and less defined. The figurines were mould-made with highlighted accents in black pigment and the backs were usually trimmed flat.
To find out more about Egyptian Shabtis please see our relevant blog post: How Ancient Egyptian Shabtis and Funerary Statuettes Watched over the Dead.