Shawabty of psmtk-di-net, son of Hr-ms

Egyptian
Late Period, Dynasty 25–30
760–332 B.C.


Dimensions

Height: 9.5 cm (3 3/4 in.)

Accession Number

72.475

Medium or Technique

Faience

Not On View

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Shawabties and shawabty boxes

This is a shawabty of slender proportions with dark green glaze. It is of a mummiform shape of a Late Period form characterized by a tripartite wig, long false beard, back pillar, and rectangular base. The figure holds the pick on the right shoulder and hoe and cord to a small seed bag on the left. Crudely inscribed hieroglyphic text on the front of the legs reads: “Psamtikdinet, son of Hor-mes.”

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 length 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.

Provenance

By 1872: General di Cesnola collection; 1872: purchased by the MFA from General di Cesnola as part of a group.* (Accession Date: May 15, 1872)

*Total price for 72.1-72.473: $3316.18

Credit Line

Museum purchase with funds donated by subscription