Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Funerary Figure of Akhenaten

Period:
New Kingdom, Amarna Period
Dynasty:
Dynasty 18
Reign:
reign of Akhenaten
Date:
ca. 1353–1336 B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt; Probably from Middle Egypt, Amarna (Akhetaten)
Medium:
Quartzite (brown)
Dimensions:
h. 15 cm (5 7/8 in.); w. 8.4 cm (3 5/16 in.); d. 5.5 cm (2 3/16 in.)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1947
Accession Number:
47.57.2
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 122
Shabtis are small funerary figures intended to perform work that the deceased was called upon to do in the afterlife. To serve this purpose, the figures were inscribed with the shabti spell, chapter six of the Book of the Dead. More than two hundred fragmentary funerary figures inscribed for Akhenaten are known, and their existence suggests that belief in the afterlife and certain aspects of traditional funerary practices survived during the Amarna period. However, Akhenaten's figures are inscribed only with the king's names and titles (see also 66.99.106), not with the standard shabti spell (as seen on 30.8.57).

This figure shows Akhenaten clutching two ankh hieroglyphs rather than the hoe and pick that are more traditional attributes of shabtis (see 26.7.919). He also wears a tripartite wig rather than the nemes headcloth that is more common for royal shabtis (as on 66.99.35 and 66.99.36). The "sfumato" eyes, in which only a minimum of detail is indicated, are a frequent feature of Amarna funerary art (see 66.99.38).
Related Objects

Funerary Figure of Isis, Singer of the Aten

Date: ca. 1353–1336 B.C. Medium: Limestone Accession: 66.99.38 On view in:Gallery 122

Shabti of Yuya

Date: ca. 1390–1352 B.C. Medium: Cedar, paint, Egyptian blue Accession: 30.8.57 On view in:Gallery 119

Fragmentary Shabti of Akhenaten

Date: ca. 1353–1336 B.C. Medium: Limestone (yellow) Accession: 66.99.106 On view in:Gallery 122

Funerary Figure of Akhenaten

Date: ca. 1353–1336 B.C. Medium: Granite Accession: 1982.50 On view in:Gallery 122

Face from a Composite Statue, probably Queen Tiye

Date: ca. 1353–1336 B.C. Medium: Quartzite Accession: 11.150.26 On view in:Gallery 121