Shabti of Pay



Mummiform shabti wearing a plain tripartite wig painted black. The arms are crossed right over left on the chest. The hands are painted red. No implements appear to be carried in the hands although these may originally have been added in paint that has now completely faded. A pair of square–hatched baskets are carried, one behind each shoulder. The one behind the left shoulder is mostly faded except for the uppermost horizontal line delineating the edge of the basket. A wesekh– collar, comprising of four alternating rows of red and black beads, is painted across the chest. The face of the shabti is very well carved, and is painted red. The eyes are large, with the brows and cosmetic lines painted black. A small figure of Osiris is painted on the back of the shabti. This was presumably added in more recent times, perhaps during the mid–nineteenth century. The body of the shabti has eight horizontal rows of an inscription that is added in black within a red framework. The owner is named as Pay. The remaining text is Chapter 6 of the Book of the Dead. Regarding the name, it seems that the scribe had to rewrite the name and add a seated determinative figure in the top register of the inscription. The hieroglyph (PA) seems to have been added on top of other hieroglyphs beneath. This could be interpreted as an example of usurping, but when the name is rewritten in the second register there is no evidence to suggest this. However, the name is written slightly differently by having (A) after the (PA) bird. An individual named Pay, with the title of Draughtsman, is recorded on a number of objects from Deir el–Medina where he was known to be a member of the workmen’s community. As a draughtsman, Pay would have been responsible for the design and inking of the the outlines of figures on the walls of the royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings. It is perhaps unclear whether these objects belong to the same person, or are for more than one individual with this name and title. Transliteration and translation of the inscription: sHD Wsir sS qd.wt PAy mAa-xrw Dd.f i SAb.ty ipn iry ir Wsir sS qd.wt PAy mAa-xrw m kA.t nb.t r ir.t [r] m Xr.t-nTr Hw sDb.w im [m] s r Xr.wt.f srwD sx.t r smH.y wDb.w r Xn.t ? Say [n] r iry iry ... m.k ... PAy, "The illuminated one, the Osiris, the Draughtsman, Pay, justified, he speaks: O, these shabtis, if one counts, if one reckons the Osiris, the Draughtsman, Pay, justified, to do all 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, to cultivate the fields, to irrigate the river banks, to transport by boat sand of the east to the west, ?, if one counts, if one reckons ... ‘here I am’ … Pay".