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Shabty of the Princess Nesi-Khonsu

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Shabties were included in tombs to perform agricultural work in place of the deceased in the afterlife. Many of them are inscribed with Chapter 6 of The Book of the Dead, which says they will dig irrigation ditches, cultivate crops, and carry sand. Others only bear the name and title of the owner. The earlier examples included here are inscribed in ink while in the later examples the text is part of the mold, which clearly saved labor. Shabties and scarabs, beetle-shaped amulets associated with rebirth and the sun god, are the most common Egyptian antiquities to survive to modern times.
MEDIUM Faience, glazed
  • Place Found: Deir al-Bahri, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1075-945 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY XXI Dynasty
    PERIOD Third Intermediate Period
    DIMENSIONS 6 1/4 x 2 1/4 x 1 1/2 in. (15.9 x 5.7 x 3.8 cm)  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 16.185
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Evangeline Wilbour Blashfield, Theodora Wilbour, and Victor Wilbour honoring the wishes of their mother, Charlotte Beebe Wilbour, as a memorial to their father, Charles Edwin Wilbour
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Shabty of the Princess Nesi-Khonsu, ca. 1075-945 B.C.E. Faience, glazed, 6 1/4 x 2 1/4 x 1 1/2 in. (15.9 x 5.7 x 3.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Evangeline Wilbour Blashfield, Theodora Wilbour, and Victor Wilbour honoring the wishes of their mother, Charlotte Beebe Wilbour, as a memorial to their father, Charles Edwin Wilbour, 16.185. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE front, 16.185_front_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Dark blue faience ushabti of the Princess Nes-Khons. Five lines of inscription around lower part of body. Grasps moulded flail in each hand. Condition: Good, glaze worn in spots; some incrustation.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (85%)
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