Shawabty of Paabumeh called Psamtik-seneb

Late Period, Dynasty 26, reign of Psammetichus I
595–525 B.C.


Height: 15.8 cm (6 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World


Shawabties and shawabty boxes

Mummiform. Inscribed with Chapter 6 of the Book of the Dead for Psamtikseneb son of Tawepetnefret.
An ancient Egyptian shawabty is a funerary figurine that was intended to magically animate in the Afterlife in order to act as a proxy for the deceased when called upon to tend to field labor or other tasks. This expressed purpose was sometimes written on the shawabty itself in the form of a “Shawabty Spell,” of which versions of various lengths are known. Shorter shawabty inscriptions could also just identify the deceased by name and, when applicable, title(s). However, many shawabtys carry no text at all. The ideal number of such figurines to include in a tomb or burial seems to have varied during different time periods.


Luigi Vassalli Collection (d. 1887); Horace L. Mayer Collection, by 1956; gift of Horace L. Mayer, 1956.

Credit Line

Gift of Horace L. Mayer