About this artwork
To assure themselves a comfortable afterlife, Egyptians stocked their tombs with at least one figurine called an ushabti, who acted as a servant in the afterlife. The message carved on each of the figurines explained that if the deceased is called on to do any work in the afterlife, the ushabti will respond with “Here I am” and will do the job. Some tombs had as many as one ushabti for every day of the year and another 36 overseers to keep order. All but the poorest citizens provided themselves with some kind of funerary furnishings. Products for burial and the labor to produce them made up a large industry in Egypt.
- Ancient Egyptian
- Shabti (Funerary Figurine) of Nebseni
- Egypt (Object made in)
- 1570 BCE–1292 BCE
- Wood (tamarisk) and pigment
- O [thou] ushabti whom N. has instructed, lo, obstacles have been set up for him yonder. If (N.) is counted off for any work that is to be done in the god's domain, as a man to his duties, to cultivate the fields, to irrigate the shores, to transport sand of the east (and) of the west, "Here am I" shalt [tyou] say. "[Belonged to] the scribe of the treasure of the god's (i.e., the kings') wife, Nebseni."
- 27.5 × 8.25 × 5.9 cm (10 13/16 × 2 5/16 × 2 3/4 in.)
- Gift of Henry H. Getty, Charles L. Hutchinson, and Norman W. Harris