Requires Photography

Shawabty of Taen...

Egyptian
Late Period, Dynasty 26–30
664–332 B.C.


Findspot: Egypt, Giza, Debris of Street 7300 between G 7330 and G 7430

Dimensions

Overall: 6.1 cm (2 3/8 in.)

Accession Number

27.2199

Medium or Technique

Faience

Not On View

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Shawabties and shawabty boxes

This is a shoulders and torso fragment of a shawabty which dates to the Late Period. The typology of this period consists of a tripartite wig, long beard, back pillar and base, with the figure holding the pick on the right shoulder and hoe and cord to a small seed bag on the left. Here the arms are crossed opposite right over left. There is incised text on the back pillar of the figure. The text begins with the unusual phrase “Wesheb sehdj Wesir.” The object is inscribed for Taen…(?).

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.

This shawabti is inscribed with one vertical line containing the name of the deceased.

Provenance

From Giza, Street G 7300, debris between mastabas G 7330-7340: G 7330 and G 7430-7440: G 7430. 1927: excavated by the Harvard University–Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; assigned to the MFA in the division of finds by the government of Egypt.

Credit Line

Harvard University–Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition