- Museum number
Black steatite shabti of Sunero: in this superbly carved funerary figurine the high-ranking military officer, the Master of Horse, Sunero himself is represented. He is not mummiform but is dressed fashionably, sporting a chin beard and wearing a wig with waved strands of hair over the head and ringlets on the shoulders. A two stranded bead necklace and a broad collar overlie his elaborately pleated long linen garment which is completed by a fringed and pleated apron. Most important, Sunero clasps his human-headed 'ba' bird to his chest, and it clings to him with its winged arms. Yet down the front of the apron is the beginning of Chapter 6 of the 'Book of the Dead', the spell to compel the shabti to work for Sunero in the other world. The text continues around the lower half of the figure's back.
- Production date
- 1275BC (circa)
Height: 21.61 centimetres
Width: 8.03 centimetres
Depth: 4.61 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- The 'ba' was one of the spirit forms believed to survive death. It was a complex entity but perhaps represents the characteristics or personality of the deceased, the individual traits which distinguish its owner from everyone else. Always represented as a human-headed bird, the 'ba' was the most widely ranging of all the spirits which survived death and was able to assume different forms to do so. The original concept that a shabti represented the deceased did not die out as soon as the idea became current that it represented a servant of the deceased who would act as its owner's substitute when agricultural labor was required in the afterlife. The two contradictory concepts existed side by side for a considerable period as this figure demonstrates.
'Egyptian Treasures' [exhibition catalogue] (Shanghai, 1999), 202-203 No 60.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2005-2006 Oct-Feb, Houston Museum of Natural Sciences, Mummy: The Inside Story
2006 7 Mar-6 Aug, Mobile (Alabama), Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center, Mummy: The Inside Story
2006-2007 6 Oct-18 Feb, Tokyo, National Museum of Nature and Science, Mummy: The Inside Story
2007 17 Mar-17 Jun, Kobe City Museum, Mummy: The Inside Story
2010 4th Nov-2011 6th March, Round Reading Room BM, Book of the Dead
19th Nov 2011- 11 Mar 2012. Richmond , VA, Virginia museum of Fine Art. Mummy. The inside story.
Mar - Oct 2012. Brisbane, Queensland Museum South Bank. Mummy: The Inside Story
2012/3, Nov-Apr, Mumbai, CSMVS, Mummy: The Inside Story
2013, Apr-Nov, Singapore, ArtScience Museum, Mummy: The Inside Story
- good (chip to sleeve)
- Associated titles
Inscription from: Book of the Dead (Chapter 6)
- Acquisition date
- Egypt and Sudan
- BM/Big number
- Registration number