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Shabti
Date Made/Found: 1550-332 BC
Donor: Reverend Greville John Chester , British, 1830 - 1892
Material and Medium: Ceramic
Dimensions: Height 115mm, width 40mm, depth 25mm
Place Object Found: Egypt
Department: Archaeology
Accession Number: J31.5.78.3
Shabtis were magical figures that performed jobs for their master in the afterlife. Initially only one shabti was placed 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.

There is evidence that the ancient Egyptians believed in an afterlife as early as the Predynastic period, around 5000 BC. People were buried with objects even at this time. This belief developed into a rich story of what happened to a person’s soul after they died. They saw the afterlife as a better version of the real world. The soul had to undertake a difficult journey to reach it.
Display Location: Weston Park Museum

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