About this object

Pottery mummiform shabti wearing a tripartite wig painted blue. The wig is extremely voluminous, especially in terms of its depth. Striations are perhaps added in a darker blue. The arms are not indicated in the modelling. No implements are shown. The head and face are rather small, and angled upwards. Large protruding ears, that are applied as blobs of gesso, flank the sides of the face. Sufficient paint remains to show that the eyes with brows were highlighted in black. The posterior is gently shaped. The body of the shabti has six horizontal bands of inscription, but unfortunately the name of the owner is missing due to severe abrasion of the surface. The only text that is legible is Chapter 6 of the Book of the Dead, although some parts of this are also abraded. The shabti is recorded as coming from Hu – known in the Ptolemaic Period as Diospolis Parva. It was the capital city of the 7th Upper Egyptian nome. Petrie, Randall–MacIver, and Mace excavated at the site in 1898–1899. The subsequent publication of the site only mentions one shabti, a Middle Kingdom example that is now to be found in Cambridge (FWM E.252.1899). The present shabti is not recorded in the excavation notes, but it is noted in the distribution lists of objects sent to Liverpool from Diospolis Parva, Cemetery Y, grave 163. This number is written in pencil on the rear lappet of the wig. Cemetery Y contained graves of the 6th–12th Dynasties, and Cemetery YS contained shallow surface graves of the 12th–18th Dynasties. The cemeteries were excavated by Randall–McIver and Mace. The EEF also sent a kohl pot (, a kohl stick (, and a piece of ivory ( to Liverpool from grave Y163. With the exception of the kohl stick, the kohl pot and ivory object were lost during WWII.

Excavated in Petrie's Predynastic cemetery Y near the modern village of Hiu (How) a large cemetery excavated by Mr Mace and Mr Randall-MacIver. Mace described the burials in Petrie's 1901 'Diospolis Parva' publication but it does not mention grave number Y163 where this shabti was found.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
    New Kingdom
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Hiw-Semaina region
  • Date made
    1550 - 1295 BC (Dynasty 18)
  • Materials
    Pottery; Paint
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of the Committee of the Egypt Exploration Fund, 1899
  • Collector
    Egypt Exploration Society
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Hiw-Semaina region
  • Date collected
    1898 - 1899
  • Measurements
    209 mm x 65 mm x 80 cm
  • Note
    Transliteration and translation of the inscription: ... i SwAb.ty ... smH.yt ... Xn.t Say ... iAb.tt ..., "… O, shabti … work …as a man at his duties – … to irrigate … transport by boat the sand … west …".
  • Related people
    Egypt Exploration Society (Collector, previous owner)

Explore related


  • Diospolis Parva. The Cemeteries of Abadiyeh and Hu 1898-9

    Petrie, William Matthew Flinders

    Author: Petrie, William Matthew Flinders
    Publisher: The Egypt Exploration Fund
    Date: 1901
    Description: Publication of the excavations directed by Flinders Petrie at the Hiw-Semaina region (Diopolis Parva) for the Egypt Exploration Fund.

  • Egyptian Antiquities in the Liverpool Museum: a List of the Provenanced Objects

    Bienkowski, Piotr; Southworth, Edmund

    Author: Bienkowski, Piotr; Southworth, Edmund
    Publisher: Aris and Phillips Ltd
    Date: 1986

  • 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


  • Egypt Exploration Fund Excavations at Hiw-Semaina region, 1898 - 1899

    Start date: 1898
    End date: 1898
    Description: Excavations directed by Flinders Petrie at the Hiw-Semaina region (Diopolis Parva) for the Egypt Exploration Fund. The museum provided financial sponsorship towards the costs and received a share of the finds that the Egyptian authorities allowed to be exported outside of Egypt. The museum subscribed to the 1898-9 excavations and received 165 finds that were accessioned on 25 September 1899, accession series About 65 pottery jars and bowls were destroyed in World War Two. Sketches and descriptions, including tomb numbers, were made by Professor Eric Peet.


Previous owners

  • Egypt Exploration Society

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1899
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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