Ushabti


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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ushabti

 

a magic statuette made in the shape of a mummy or of a person with a pick or a hoe. Ushabti were placed in tombs in ancient Egypt. According to the beliefs of the Egyptians, the statuettes were supposed to take the place of the deceased in labors in the fields of Osiris in the next world. Incantations enumerating the labors were recited over the ushabti or written on them on behalf of the deceased.

REFERENCE

Rubinshtein, R. I. “O prirode ushebti.” Vestnik drevnei istorii, 1968, no. 2.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
among the collection is 11 egyptian shabtis, also known as ushabti, which are funerary figurines used in ancient egyptian religion.
The list of artefacts includes 166 pieces from King Tutankhamun's belongings, including a number of Ushabti statuses, wooden boxes, Canopian pots, a wooden 'Ka' statue, and alabaster pots.
Among the finds in the tomb were five coloured masks and around 1,000 Ushabti statutes - the miniature figurine of servants to serve the dead in the afterlife.
The tomb contained five coloured masks and some 1,000 Ushabti statutes -- the miniature figurine of servants to serve the dead in the afterlife.
After carefully examining several cases containing the trappings of mummification - ushabti figures, false tongues and eyelids, for example - I started to wonder if the whole cult of the dead thing was as much about economic opportunity as anything else.
For the Egyptian antiquities--pyramids and ushabti alike--appear to have entered the consciousness of the English in Shakespeare's time not only as curiosities, talismans, and "things to see," but as luxury goods in a very radical form--of the highest quality and craftsmanship, involving countless hours of human labor, but the purpose of which cannot be parsed and made morally valuable in a Christian society living under a reformed dispensation.
There are other salient interdisciplinary projects, such as ceramic pie birds (and early American culture), sundials, Day of the Dead projects and mummy boxes with cat mummies (though this would have more import if the key object for the lesson was not a kitschy Mummy, hotdog box coffin; perhaps a field trip to a museum, then centre the projects on a 3000 year old ushabti).
Ushabti (model servant) figurines dating from the third Intermediate Period were also found in the area, along with a New Kingdom chapel decorated with a scene of offerings being made to Osiris.
Popular collectors' items include all kinds of Chinese and Japanese pottery, Roman flagons and drinking goblets, ancient British axe heads and daggers, pre-Celtic brooches, Roman-British glass, Greek vases and anything Egyptian, notably pottery oil lamps, costing as little as pounds 30 or, more unusually, Ushabti figures, each between 2-6ins, once placed in the tombs of the wealthy to serve the diseased in the afterlife.
Other pieces include an Egyptian limestone ushabti of Lady Nefrari and a 4,000-year-old Canaanite bronze statuette.