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Death in Ancient Egypt

Model of a servant

Height: 25.300 cm

EA 24428

Model of a servant

From: Egypt
Date: 18th Dynasty, around 1375 BC

Egyptian nobility couldn't be expected to do their own chores, even after they were dead. This little model servant was found with several others in the tomb of a priestess. Wealthy ancient Egyptians thought that by burying these model servants - called shabtis - in their tombs with them, they would have real servants to look after them after they died.

This shabti is holding 2 hoes to dig the ground with. The hieroglyphic writing on her says: 'O shabti, if the dead person is called upon to do any of the work required there in the land of the dead at any time.... you shall say "Here I am, I will do it".'