Egyptian Shabtis

7 June 2011 by Ashley Cooke

photo of a mummiform man

The face of a shabti for a man called Horwedja.

Egyptologist Glenn Janes made his final visit to the museum stores last week after cataloguing about 800 shabti funerary figures. He will be working with all the information he has gathered over the summer and then we’ll meet again to discuss publishing parts of the collection. The shabti in this photograph is a close-up of a shabti for a man called Horwedja, a priest of the goddess Neith. He wears a lappet wig and a beard. In his crossed hands he holds agricultural tools: an adze, a hoe and the string of the seed-basket that hangs over the shoulder. If Horwedja was called upon to do work in the afterlife this shabti would have came to life and done the work for him. Horwedja died in about 380-343 BC and was buried in a tomb at a place called Hawara. His name is written in hieroglyphs on the first row of text. You can see 46 shabtis in the Ancient Egypt gallery at World Musuem and you can find out more about shabti figures on Glenn Jane’s website.

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