About this object

Mummiform shabti wearing a tripartite wig with striations and a seshed headband added in black. The arms are crossed left over right on the chest, and the hands hold a pair of hoes modelled in relief and painted black. A small rectangular basket with carrying straps is painted on the back. The face has eyes with brows added in black. The body of the shabti has seven vertical columns of inscription that includes the name of the owner, Amun–em–Opet, together with his titles, and a version of Chapter 5 of the Book of the Dead instead of the usual Chapter 6. Chapter 5 is considered to be of Hermopolitan origin, and its purpose was to give the deceased magical powers and wisdom to survive in the afterlife. The ‘Great Baboon’ mentioned in the text is considered to be Thoth, whilst the ‘Weary One’ may refer to the state of Osiris before his resurrection. Only one other group of shabtis, for Nesy–Bastet, is known to be similarly inscribed with Chapter 5 of the Book of the Dead. It should be noted that of all the known shabtis for Amun– em–Opet, the majority are inscribed with Chapter 5, but some have Chapter 6. The tomb of Amun–em–Opet is in the Dra Abu–el–Naga cemetery, Western Thebes (TT A. 18), but its exact location is unknown. Some scenes from the walls of the hall of the tomb were recorded by the Italian Egyptologist Ippolito Rosellini during his expedition to Egypt in 1828.

Broken at the waist and mended with glue spilling out. Chipped at the forehead and left side of the head.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
    Third Intermediate Period
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Thebes
  • Date made
    1069 BC - 945 BC (Dynasty 21)
  • Materials
    Egyptian Faience
  • Location
    World Museum, Level 3, Ancient Egypt Gallery
  • Acquisition
    Purchased from the collections of Norwich Castle Museum
  • Collector
    A C Savin
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Thebes: Dra' Abu el Naga
  • Date collected
    1940 before
  • Measurements
    109 mm x 38 mm x 31 mm
  • Note
    Transliteration and translation of the inscription: Wsir Hm-nTr n Imn-Ra nsw.t nTr.w Hr.y sStA sS qd.wt n pr Imn Imn-m-Ip.t mAa-xrw Dd.f i ink Da(r) nni pri m Wnw anx m bsk.w n Aaan.w wr, "The Osiris, the God’s Servant of Amun–Re, King of the Gods, Master of Secrets, Chief Draughtsman of the Temple of Amun, Amun–em–Opet, justified, he speaks: I am one who seeks, I am the Weary One who has come forth from Hermopolis; I live upon the entrails of the Great Baboon".
  • Related people
    Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery (Previous owner); A C Savin (Collector, previous owner)

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Previous owners

  • Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery

    Owned from: 1940
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1956
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • A C Savin

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1940
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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