Shawabty of Ankh-hor born of Tadiuserpahap

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

Findspot: Egypt, Giza, Street G 7600, pit V, room II (G 7600 V II), [so


Overall: 10 cm (3 15/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World


Shawabties and shawabty boxes

This Late Period shawabty is inscribed for Ankh-hor, born of Tadiuserpahap. 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 right over left. Here there is no seed bag and no wig line on the flat back pillar. There is incised text on the back pillar. The object was broken in two pieces and is not mended. The wig and beard are very worn.

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.

This shawabti is inscribed with one vertical line containing Ankh-Hor’s name and his mother’s name.


From Giza, Street G 7600, pit V, room II (G 7600 V II), [some originally from street G 7600, pit W (G 7600 W)]. 1929: Excavated by the Harvard University–Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; assigned to the MFA by the government of Egypt.

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition