Ushabti

(redirected from Ushabti Figure)
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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
I have held an ushabti figure and I must say it is the power they bring with them which provides a very curious experience making them potent things to have around.
Ushabti figures, from an ancient Egyptian term meaning 'to answer,' were originally placed inside tombs, pyramids and graves for the purpose of serving the pharaoh 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.
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.
At this stand you will find ushabti figures from the Egyptian tombs along with Roman glass necklaces and coins from biblical times.