Rectangular wooden tablet; seventeen rows of Hieratic text in black ink on obverse; ten rows on reverse: shabti-decree of Neskhons.
- Excavated/Findspot: Deir el-Bahri
- (Africa,Egypt,Upper Egypt,Deir el-Bahri (Thebes))
- Length: 28.9 centimetres
- Width: 16.5 centimetres
Inscription Positionboth sides
Inscription TranslationAmun-Re, king of the gods, the great god, the most ancient one to come into existence, speaks: I shall see to it that the shabtis made for Neskhonsu, daughter of Tenthendjehuty, carry out all duties for Neskhonsu in the sorts of duties which shabtis know how to do in the service of a dead person, who is brought to the necropolis and who has become divine, without any errors. Thus spoke Amun: I shall see to it that they act for Neskhonsu.
Amun-Re, king of the gods, the great god, the most ancient one to come into existence, speaks: I shall see to it that the shabtis made for Neskhonsu carry out every duty for which shabtis are made for the exemption of all the excellent blessed dead, so that they see to it for the exemption of Neskhonsu, so that they see to it for her exemption every year, every month, every ten-day week, every day, and on all the five epagomenal days.
The contents of the writings were placed before Amun, lord of the thrones of the two lands of the mansion of the obelisk, in year 5, fourth month of the shemu season, day 2. Amun, lord of the thrones of the two lands of the mansion of the obelisk, the great god, speaks in two copies: with reference to all that which they have paid the faience makers for the shabtis made for Neskhonsu in the form of copper, clothing, bread, cakes, fish, and everything which has been paid them for it and which will be paid: the makers are fully paid by that, it being the value in silver of their value. With reference to everything done in relation to the payment for the shabtis, so that they replace someone at work saying 'I shall do everything they should do', that is the price for which the shabtis act, for replacing Neskhonsu, and so that they might be perfect for her and that they carry out duties for her perfectly.
Inscription CommentPharaphrased translation.
PM I Part 2: p.665; Published: Cerny, BIFAO 42 (1941) 105-33;
N. Strudwick, Masterpieces of Ancient Egypt, London 2006, pp. 244-5.
B. Menu, ENIM 4 (2011), 43-46.Strudwick N 2006
Two almost identical wooden tablets were found in Thebes and are now in the British Museum and the Louvre. They may have come from the cache of mummies in Deir el-Bahari discovered in about 1871. They record an oracular pronouncement of Amun that a set of shabtis (servant figures) should work only for their owner, who is consequently exempt from other tasks, and that the ownership of the shabtis is indeed vested in the woman who bought them. This shows that the power of Amun could be used not just to confirm ownership, but also to control events in the next world.
On display: G63/dc16
- Associated Title: Shabti-Decree of Neskhons
Previously in the possession of the Duke of Hamilton (Luxor, 1874--Cerny Bifao 41, p. 105).
Ancient Egypt & Sudan
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Object reference number: YCA63160
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