• Ushabti

  • Artist: Mena El Shazly
  • Year: 2020
  • Duration: 2:00
  • Country: Canada
  • The ushabti was a funerary figurine used in ancient Egypt often in the shape of a mummy. They were deposited in tombs in large quantities.
    Intact finds show that the ideal number of these figurines was 401: 365, one for each day of the year, and 36 “overseers,” one for each ten-day period. The year in question was a period of possible obligatory labor in the afterlife. For each day of this year, it was supposed to be possible for the tomb owner to send a substitute in the form of an ushabti-figure. Ushabtis are thus not to be understood as a means of avoiding obligatory labor, but rather, as a means of enabling the deceased to participate in this labor.

  • Accession #: 7239
  • Distribution Status: In Distribution
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