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Title:Shabti of Lady Ta-dit-ipet
Date Made:1069-860 BCE (Dynasties 21-22)
Materials:Egyptian faience, formed in mold; paint
Place Made:Africa; Asia; Egypt
Measurements:Overall: 3 1/8 in x 1 5/16 in x 11/16 in; 7.9 cm x 3.3 cm x 1.7 cm
Narrative Inscription:  On front: "The Osiris Ta-di(t)-ipet." "The Osiris" became a common epithet for a deceased person, who was assimilated to the god for the afterlife. On back: faint traces of text.
Accession Number:  MH 1910.8.1.A.K
Credit Line:Gift of Professor Louise Fitz Randolph
Museum Collection:  Mount Holyoke College Art Museum

Mummiform figure of bright cobalt blue faience, with shiny surface. Arms crossed, left over right. Black paint for eyes, brows, headband with open-looped knot and streamers, two hoes, text column on front and back (see Inscription field for details), and seed bag on back. Cross-hatched seed bag is trapezoidal and hangs diagonally from strap on left shoulder.

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. 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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