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Maker(s):Unknown
Culture:Egyptian
Title:Shabti
Date Made:1293-1070 BCE (New Kingdom, Dynasties 19-20)
Type:Ceremonial
Materials:Earthenware; molded with slip
Place Made:Africa; Asia; Egypt
Measurements:Overall: 6 3/8 in x 2 1/16 in x 1 11/16 in; 16.2 cm x 5.2 cm x 4.3 cm
Accession Number:  MH 1910.9.8.A.K
Credit Line:Gift of the Egypt Exploration Fund
Museum Collection:  Mount Holyoke College Art Museum
mh_1910_9_8_a_k_v1_01.jpg

Description:
Mummiform figure of pinkish beige terracotta. Columnar body, with sligh swelling for forearms, belly, and calves. Face ill-defined. Flat back. Coating of red-brown slip on body; long wig painted with black slip. Back of wig sloppily painted, with pendant stroke on left.

Label Text:
Ancient Egyptians were obliged to perform certain tasks for the state, including agricultural labor. Small mummy-shaped figurines called “shabtis” were introduced to perform this work in the afterlife and often carried hoes or seed-baskets. Initially, the deceased was given only one shabti, but the number increased dramatically over time. From the 18th Dynasty on, shabtis sometimes appeared dressed as living people rather than as mummies. These statuettes could be made of earthenware, Egyptian faience, stone, or other materials.

2016

Tags:
ancient; archaeology; tombs; deaths; afterlife; religion; rituals; ceremonies; sculpture; agriculture

Link to share this object record:
https://museums.fivecolleges.edu/detail.php?t=objects&type=ext&id_number=MH+1910.9.8.A.K

Research on objects in the collections, including provenance, is ongoing and may be incomplete. If you have additional information or would like to learn more about a particular object, please email fc-museums-web@fivecolleges.edu.

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