Shabti of Ramessuhesy



Mummiform shabti wearing a tripartite wig with striations added in the carving except for the lower ends of the lappets that are left plain. The arms are crossed, and the hands emerge from the shroud to hold a pair of hoes added in relief. A square hatched bag is shown carried behind the left shoulder. The face is very well defined. It is round in shape, and has full cheeks. The nose is a little abraded. The eyes have short cosmetic lines in shallow relief, and the eyes lids are quite fleshy. The ears are well defined. A wesekh–collar is worn across the chest comprising three rows of beads on strands. A horizontal column of fairly neatly incised inscription carved in light relief, coloured in black and in between red borders, names the owner as Ramessuhesy (or Ramessoehesy; his name appears in Ranke p. 219, no. 5) and gives a version of the Khaemwaset formula instead of Chapter 6 of the Book of the Dead. Transliteration and translation of the inscription: wn Hr.k mAA.k itn dwA.k Ra anx Wsir Ra-ms-sw-Hsy mAa-xrw, "May your face be opened, that you may see the sun-disc, that you may adore the sun in life, the Osiris, Ramessuhesy, justified". This shabti belongs to a particularly small group known for various private individuals that are inscribed with a magical text known as the Khaemwaset or Khamaus formula. Prince Khaemwaset, a son of Ramesses II, was the instigator of this unusual magical inscription that is considered to have raised ‘the owner of the shabti to a higher, divine level, and to make him a citizen, as it were, of the sacred region of Rosetau.’ Rosetau was originally the name for the necropolis at Memphis, Saqqara and Giza, but it eventually came to specify the entrance to the underworld that could be represented by a tomb shaft or simply a natural hole in the ground. Sokar was the principal god of Rosetau, and although Osiris, Isis and Horus were part of the domain, it was the sun god Re through whom the deceased sought eternal existence from its life giving rays. Once in the private collection of the author Sir Henry Rider Haggard, the shabti was donated to Norwich Castle Museum in 1925 and then sold to Liverpool City Museums in 1956. There is an exact parallel to the shabti for Ramessuhesy in Leiden, Rijksmuseum van Oudheden (no. CI 11) with a provenance of Saqqara (purchased in December 1827). CONDITION NOTE 1998: Previous repair, damage to nose, surface scratched, worn, surface dirt. Was part of education workshops collection 1999 - 2017.