Shabti card

Courtesy of National Museums Liverpool, World Museum


On display

Mummiform shabti wearing a striated tripartite wig, and a plaited divine beard. The beard is the same length as the lappets of the wig. The arms are crossed right over left, and the hands emerge from a shroud to hold a pick in the left, and a hoe in the right. The hoe has a twisted wiry tie. The right hand also holds the twisted rope for a large basket that is carried behind the left shoulder. The face of the figure has well defined features although the nose is damaged. The eyes are large and almond-shaped, with long cosmetic lines and brows being modelled in relief. The mouth has a gentle smile. Large and well modelled ears flank the face. The figure is supported by a dorsal pillar, and stands upon a trapezoidal base. The body of the shabti has seven horizontal bands of a lightly incised inscription. The name of the owner is unclear but the mother’s name is Wedja-shu, a name found in the 30th Dynasty. The names are followed by Chapter 6 of the Book of the Dead. Translation of the inscription: “O, these shabtis, if one counts the Osiris, the God’s servant of Bastet, ??-es-??, justifief, born (to) Wedja-shu, to do all the works in the realm of the dead – now indeed, obstacles are implanted there – as a man at his duties, ‘here I am,’ you shall say … there, to cultivate the fields, to irrigate the river banks, …”