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Shabty Box of Amunemhat

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Shabties were figures included in the tomb that would work for the deceased in the afterlife when the proper spell was recited. The best shabties were kept in special boxes made for the purpose.

Even elite funerary objects could be reused. Microscopic analyses of the inscriptions on these objects reveal that Amunemhat is not the original name on this shabty or shabty box. Instead, the original name was removed and these objects were reinscribed. The shabty is made from imported cedar, a very expensive material.
MEDIUM Wood, pigment (Egyptian blue)
  • Possible Place Collected: Thebes, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1400–1336 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 18
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 12 13/16 × 5 3/16 × 6 3/8 in., 1.5 lb. (32.5 × 13.1 × 16.2 cm, 0.68kg)  (show scale)
    ACCESSION NUMBER 50.130a-b
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Wooden ushabti box of the scribe of Grain Reckoning, Amenemhet. Box (a) in the shape of shrine, apparently of cedar with one knob on front of cover (b), another on front of box, apparently of ebony. Single column of incised inscription on each side of box and on cover. Rear edge of cover cut at angle to look under similar piece on rim of box. Condition: Apparently good. The small rectangular pieces at top of front and back possibly new. Names inserted anciently after original inscription was obliterated.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Shabty Box of Amunemhat, ca. 1400–1336 B.C.E. Wood, pigment (Egyptian blue), 12 13/16 × 5 3/16 × 6 3/8 in., 1.5 lb. (32.5 × 13.1 × 16.2 cm, 0.68kg). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 50.130a-b. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 50.130_front_PS2.jpg)
    IMAGE front, 50.130_front_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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