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Shabty of the Priest Nes-iswt

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
  • Reportedly From: Giza, Egypt
  • DATES 664-525 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 26
    PERIOD Late Period
    DIMENSIONS 5 3/4 x 1 3/4 x 1 1/4 in. (14.6 x 4.4 x 3.2 cm)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 37.217E
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Faience Ushabti of the Was-Priest of the Temples of Memphis, Nesi-Kedwet, born of Tase-en-onkh. In mummiform, holding implements.
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