|Title:||Overseer shabti of Bakenkhonsu|
|Date Made:||1069-715 BCE (Dynasties 21-24)|
|Materials:||Faience, formed in mold; paint|
|Place Made:||Africa; Asia; Egypt|
|Measurements:||Overall: 4 5/16 in x 1 5/8 in x 1 1/2 in; 11 cm x 4.1 cm x 3.8 cm|
|Narrative Inscription: ||Column on front below hands: "The Osiris, the God's father of Amun, Bakenkhonsu, justified." "The Osiris" became a standard epithet for a deceased person, who was assimilated to the god for the afterlife; God's father of Amun" is a high-ranking priestly title; "Bakenkhonsu" is a name meaning "Servant of [the god] Khonsu," and "justified" is a common honorific designaiton for a deceased person.|
|Accession Number: ||MH 1910.7.1.A.K|
|Credit Line:||Gift of the Egypt Exploration Fund|
|Museum Collection: ||Mount Holyoke College Art Museum
Currently on view
Figure wearing kilt (dress of the living). Pale green Faience discolored to white in places. Right arm bent, left arm down at side. Black paint for eyes, brows, hoe held in right hand, headband, and text column below hands. See Inscription field for details. Flat back, with short streamers for headband, shown in black paint. Slight flange around rear perimeter. Companion to MH 1910.7.2-7.A.K.
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. Egyptian faience, a ceramic substance composed of quartz granules fused with alkali, frequently appears in bright colors that imitate lapis lazuli or turquoise.
ancient; archaeology; tombs; deaths; afterlife; religion; rituals; ceremonies; sculpture; agriculture
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