Shabti


Shabti
   The earliest royal burials of Dynasty 1 and Dynasty 2 were surrounded by the graves of royal retainers who had been sacrificed to accompany their master as servants in the next life. This practice was eventually abandoned, and models of servants appear in tombs in the Old Kingdom and Middle Kingdom. The deceased was expected to perform some manual activities in the afterlife, so from the late Middle Kingdom to the Ptolemaic Period burials included shabtis, or servant figures, with inscriptions naming the deceased and obliging the figure to carry out any work demanded of him or her. Elaborate burials had 365 shabtis, 1 for each day of the year plus overseer shabtis for every 10 worker figures. The figures would be placed in shabti boxes in the tomb.
Historical Dictionary Of Ancient Egypt by Morris L. Bierbrier

Ancient Egypt. A Reference Guide. . 2011.

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