Shawabty of Queen Tabiry
Napatan Period, reign of Piankhy (Piye)
Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), el-Kurru, Ku. 53
Overall: 4.6 cm (1 13/16 in.)
Medium or Technique
Not On View
This is a shawabty belonging to Queen Tabiry, wife of King Piankhy (Piye). When complete, the female figure has a tripartite wig with no uraeus. She wears a long sheath dress with no visible hem line. The arms with open hands are held straight down at the sides. There is no back pillar or base. The figure is uninscribed. This shawabty is missing it’s head and below the knees. The object was broken in two pieces and is not mended. The two pieces are of very different colors. The upper half is brown and the lower blue green.
The ancient Nubians included shawabtys in their tombs only in the Napatan Period, about 750–270 B.C. These funerary figurines are based on Egyptian shawabtys, but differ from them in many features of their iconography. For instance, the known Nubian examples are only from royal tombs. Also, they have unique texts, implements, poses and are known to have the largest number of shawabtys included in one tomb. Their function, it is assumed, was the same as that of the
From Nubia (Sudan), el-Kurru, Ku. 53 (tomb of Queen Tabiry). 1919: excavated by the Harvard University–Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; assigned to the MFA in the division of finds by the government of the Sudan.
Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition