Sign on
Date Made/Found: 1069-664 BC
Material and Medium: Faience
Dimensions: Length 127mm; width 43mm.
Place Object Found: Egypt
Department: Archaeology
Accession Number: EG100
Shabtis were magical figures that were placed with burials to perform jobs for their master in the afterlife. Initially only one shabti was put in the tomb. By 1000 BC, some burials contained 365 figures, one for every day of the year. They were divided into groups and supervised by managers armed with whips.

This shabti has a hieroglyphic inscription. Most ancient Egyptian people could not read or write. Scribes were people who trained to be able to understand and write hieroglyphs. They had a high position in society. Hieroglyphs were considered sacred and were often used for religious texts. Each hieroglyph represented a sound in the ancient Egyptian language. The owl hieroglyph was the sound ‘m’, not the word for owl. But some hieroglyphs did represent a word as well as a sound e.g. the mouth sign meant the sound ‘r’ and also the word mouth.
Display Location: Weston Park Museum

gPowered byeMuseum

Museums Sheffield

Trying something new can be a little bit scary, but what a great feeling when you make the connection. We're trying new things all the time and we want you to try them too, so come with us and we'll help connect you with art, nature, history, ideas - and each other.

Jump in. Discover something new.

Explore our site