Shawabty of Tasheri-ihet
Late Period, Dynasty 26–30
Findspot: Egypt, Giza, Pit G 7792 A
Overall: 12.7 cm (5 in.)
Medium or Technique
Not On View
This shawabty dates to the Late Period and is inscribed for Tasheri-ihet born of Mertefnut (mr-Tfnwt). 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 hands are crossed and opposed. The right holds a large hoe and cord to a small seed bag slung over the back of the left shoulder. The left hand holds the pick. There is one framed column of incised text on the front of the figure. The beard is plaited and executed in openwork, not attached at the neck. The object was broken in two pieces and is now mended. The pick is damaged.
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 Tasheri-ihet’s name and her mother’s name.
From Giza, Pit G 7792 A. 1928: Excavated by the Harvard University–Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; assigned to the MFA by the government of Egypt.
Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition