Shabti of Hor–ir–aa



Mummiform shabti wearing a plain tripartite wig worn low on the forehead, and a broad divine beard. The arms are crossed right over left on the chest, and the hands protrude from a shroud to hold a pair of hoes that is unusual for this period. The one in the right hand has a broad blade, and the one in the left hand has a narrow blade – this iconography is reminiscent of the representation of hoes on some shabtis during the New Kingdom. The right hand also holds the cord for a well detailed basket that is carried behind the left shoulder. The face is well modelled. The eyes are quite small. The shabti is supported by a dorsal pillar, and stands upon a trapezoidal base. The body of the figure has seven horizontal bands of neatly incised inscription giving the name of the owner as Hor–ir–aa, followed by Chapter 6 of the Book of the Dead. Hor–ir–aa lived during the early part of the 26th Dynasty. As an important court official, he was placed in charge of the education of the children of Necho II, Psamtek II, and perhaps also those of Apries. Psamtek II gave Hor–ir–aa the ‘Good Name’ Nefer–ib–Re–nefer after the victorious return of the army from a campaign in Nubia. The tomb of Hor–ir–aa was discovered intact on the south–east side of the Step Pyramid at Saqqara by Richard Lepsius. The tomb contained around 400 shabtis that were found in two boxes placed on either side of Hor–ir–aa’s sarcophagus. They are characterised by their grey–green colour and fine modelling. Transliteration and translation of the inscription: sHD Wsir im.y-r rw.t Hr-ir-aA mAa-xrw Dd.f i wSb.ty ipn ir Wsir im.y-r rw.t Hr-ir-aA mAa-xrw r ir(.t) kA.t nb(.t) ir(.t) im m Xr.t-nTr ist Hw sDb.w im m s r Xr.t.f m.k wi kA.k r nw nb irt im r srwD sx.t r smH.y wDb.w r Xn.t Say n r Ts pXr m.k wi kA.k, "The illuminated one, the Osiris, the Overseer of the Antechamber, Hor–ir–aa, justified, he speaks: O, this shabti, if one counts the Osiris, the Overseer of the Antechamber, Hor– ir–aa, 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". CONDITION NOTE 1998: Scratched surface, chipped, discoloured, concretions & surface dirt.