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Black steatite shabti of Suneru


Height: 21.400 cm

EA 65206

Ancient Egypt and Sudan

    Black steatite shabti of Suneru

    From Egypt
    19th Dynasty, around 1275 BC

    Holding his ba to his chest

    Shabti figures of the Eighteenth Dynasty (about 1550-1300 BC) were usually shown in a mummiform state, wearing a heavy wig and holding agricultural implements or funerary symbols in their crossed hands. However, for a period in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Dynasties figures in everyday dress were introduced, a phenomenon also seen in contemporary coffins. However, in the Third Intermediate Period (about 1070-661 BC), the mummiform shape returned for the 365 figures now normal, although something similar to everyday dress was used for the 36 'overseers'.

    This shabti wears the style of dress that Suneru would have worn during life. His heavily pleated robe, duplex wig, fine collar and sandals are characteristic of the clothing of the wealthy of the New Kingdom. Instead of agricultural implements, the figure holds a ba bird, representing the personality of the deceased, which was believed to survive after his death.

    J.H. Taylor, Death and Afterlife in ancient (London, The British Museum Press, 2001)

    C.A.R. Andrews, Egyptian mummies (London, The British Museum Press, 1984)


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