Limestone shabti figure of King Ahmose

Probably from Thebes, Egypt
New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, around 1520 BC

The earliest known shabti of a king

Shabti, or funerary figurines buried with the deceased, first appear in the Middle Kingdom (about 2040-1750 BC). This is the earliest example of one made for a king, and also one of the very few images of King Ahmose (reigned about 1550-1525 BC) to have survived. The figure wears the royal nemes head-dress with a uraeus.

Ahmose was the king responsible for completing the process of driving out the Hyksos, Asiatics who had exerted control over considerable parts of Egypt in the Second Intermediate Period (about 1750-1650 BC). Historians estimate that he reigned for around twenty-five years. Ahmose was probably very young when he came to the throne, and it seems that his major campaigns took place in the last ten years of his reign. Perhaps this explains the youthful appearance of his face.

The location of King Ahmose's tomb is not known. However, his body was among the royal mummies discovered in the so-called 'Royal Cache', so we assume he was buried somewhere in the Theban necropolis (cemetery).

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More information


E.R. Russmann, Eternal Egypt: masterworks of (University of California Press, 2001)

C. Vandersleyen, Les guerres dAmosis (Bruxelles, Fondation egyptologique Reine Elisabeth, 1971)

S. Quirke and A.J. Spencer, The British Museum book of anc (London, The British Museum Press, 1992)


Height: 28.700 cm

Museum number

EA 32191


Acquired in 1899


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