About this object

Faience shabti of Horwedja, a priest of the goddess Neith. This is one of 399 shabtis inscribed for Horwedja found in his family tomb by Flinders Petrie and his team during 13–19 January 1889. His shabti is holding farming tools so that he can work in the 'Field of Reeds'. Across his mummiform body he is inscribed with names and Spell 6 from the Book of the Dead: ‘Spell for making shabtis do work in the afterlife’.

This is a pale turquoise glaze faience mummiform shabti wearing a plain tripartite wig and a plaited divine beard. The arms are crossed right over left on the chest and the hands protrude from a shroud to hold in the left, a pick, and in the right a hoe and the twisted cord for a finely detailed basket which is suspended behind the left shoulder. The figure leans against a dorsal pillar and stands upon a trapezoidal base. The body of the shabti has nine horizontal bands of inscription naming the owner as Horwedja, born to Shedet, followed by Chapter 6 of the Book of the Dead. The hieroglyphic text reads: The illuminated one, the Osiris, the God’s servant of Neith, Horwedja, born (to) Shedet, justified, he speaks: O, these shabtis, if one counts, the Osiris, the God’s servant of Neith, Horwedja, born (to) Shedet, justified, to do all the works that are to be done there in the realm of the dead – now indeed obstacles are implanted therewith – as a man at his duties, ‘here I am,’ you shall say when you are counted off at any time to serve there, to cultivate the fields, to irrigate the river banks, to ferry the sand of the west to the east and vice–versa; ‘here I am,’ you shall say”.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Religion
  • Culture
    Late Period
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Hawara
  • Date made
    380 BC - 343 BC (Dynasty 30)
  • Materials
    Egyptian Faience
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Purchased from the collections of Norwich Castle Museum, 1956
  • Collector
    Flaxman Charles John Spurrell
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Hawara
  • Date collected
    1889
  • Measurements
    222 mm x 66 mm x 45 mm
  • Note
    Transliteration and translation of the inscription: sHD Wsir Hm-nTr N.t Hr-wDA ms (n) Sd.t mAa-xrw Dd.f i w[S]b.ty ipn ir ip.tw Wsir Hm-nTr N.t Hr-wDA ms (n) Sd.t mAa-xrw r ir.t kA.t nb(.t) ir(.t) im m Xr.t-nTr n is[t] Hw sDb.w im m s r Xrt.f m.k wi kA.tn ip.tw.tn r nw nb ir.t im r srwD sx.t r smH.y wDb.w r Xn.t Say imn.tt r iAb.tt Ts pXr m.k wi kA.tn, "The illuminated one, the Osiris, the God’s servant of Neith, Horwedja, born (to) Shedet, justified, he speaks: O, these shabtis, if one counts, the Osiris, the God’s servant of Neith, Horwedja, born (to) Shedet, justified, to do all the works that are to be done there in the realm of the dead – now indeed obstacles are implanted therewith – as a man at his duties, ‘here I am,’ you shall say when you are counted off at any time to serve there, to cultivate the fields, to irrigate the river banks, to ferry the sand of the west to the east and vice–versa; ‘here I am,’ you shall say".
  • Related people
    Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery (Previous owner); William Matthew Flinders Petrie (Previous owner); Flaxman Charles John Spurrell (Collector, previous owner)

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Publications

  • Kahun, Gurob and Hawara

    Petrie, William Matthew Flinders

    Author: Petrie, William Matthew Flinders
    Publisher: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner and co.
    Date: 1890
    Description: Publication of fieldwork directed by Flinders Petrie at 3 sites in the Faiyum: Kahun, Gurob and Hawara. Chapters by F. Ll. Griffith and Percy E. Newberry. 28 plates. Percy Newberry wrote the chapter, "The ancient botany", pp. 46-50.

  • The Shabti Collections volume 6: a Selection from World Museum, Liverpool

    Janes, Glenn

    Author: Janes, Glenn
    Publisher: Olicar House Publications
    Date: 2016
    Description: Lavishly illustrated catalogue of inscribed and excavated shabtis from the collection of World Museum, Liverpool, with a six page foreword by the curator, Ashley Cooke, describing the history of the collection . For more details visit the publisher's website: http://www.shabtis.com/liverpoolcatalogue.php

Ownership

Previous owners

Object view = Humanities
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