Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Funerary figurine of Queen Neferu

Middle Kingdom
Dynasty 11
reign of Mentuhotep II, early
ca. 2051–2030 B.C.
From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Deir el-Bahri, Tomb of Neferu (TT 319, MMA 31), Corridor, MMA excavations, 1923–24
H. 15 cm (5 7/8 in.)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1925
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 105
Several miniature coffins were found in the tomb of queen Neferu. They were inscribed with funerary formulas and the name of the deceased like actual coffins. Each of the miniature coffins contained a wax or mud figurine of a nude woman wrapped in linen and identified as Neferu herself by a short inscription. Such figures are known from other tombs of Dynasty 8 and 11. Funerary figurines of this type are probably the forerunners of the so called shabtis, which evolved in Dynasty 12 and became very popular from the New Kingdom on.
This figurine was found in the miniature coffin 25.3.240b, c. For other such figurines and coffins see 241a-c, .243a-c, .244a-c.
Museum excavations 1923–24. Acquired by the Museum in the division of finds, 1925.

Winlock, Herbert E. 1924. "The Egyptian Expedition 1923–1924: The Museum's Excavations at Thebes." In The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, vol. 19, no. 12 (December, Supplement), p. 12, fig. 9.

Lythgoe, Albert M. 1924. "The Egyptian Expedition 1923–1924." In The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, vol. 19, no. 12 (December, Supplement), p. 12.

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