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The ancient Egyptians believed that the statutory agricultural labour imposed on them in order to utilise the Nile floods would continue in the afterlife. To avoid this irksome duty they devised the shabti, a figure which they hoped would deputise for them on being activated by the appropriate magic spell. The figures are of considerable artistic interest, and provide information about Egyptian religion, society, personal names, titles, etc. The motiviation and development are discussed from the first appearance of shabtis during the Middle Kingdom until their decline in the Ptolemaic Period. The iconography, inscriptions, materials and manufacture are described with criteria for identifying and dating the various types.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780747803010
ISBN-10: 0747803013
Format: Paperback
(210mm x 150mm x 5mm)
Pages: 64
Imprint: Shire Publications Ltd
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publish Date: 1-Oct-1995
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - H.M. Stewart

Harry M. Stewart studied Ancient History and Egyptology at the University of London and after graduating developed a special interest in epigraphy and facsimile recording, co-operating in work of the Egypt Exploration Society and contributing articles in archaeology journals. In 1970, while concurrently teaching at the Institute of Archaeology, he was appointed an honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Egyptology at University College London, and has since published much of the inscribed material in the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology.