A carved Egyptian alabaster shabti. Its painted details in red and black include a frontal panel of hieroglyphic text to the lower body. The shabti wears a typical tripartite wig and holds agricultural tools in its hands. The hieroglyphic text has faded slightly but is still legible.
Comes complete with purpose-made display stand.
Date: Circa 664 - 332 BC Period: Late Dynastic Period Condition: Fine condition; complete and intact; painted details faded, the hieroglyphs mostly legible.
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. 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.
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