Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Shabti of Akhenaten

New Kingdom, Amarna Period
Dynasty 18
reign of Akhenaten
ca. 1353–1336 B.C.
From Egypt; Probably from Middle Egypt, Amarna (Akhetaten)
h. 11 cm (4 5/16 in); w. 7.6 cm (3 in); d. 5.2 cm (2 1/16 in)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Fletcher Fund and The Guide Foundation Inc. Gift, 1966
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 122
Shabtis were intended to perform work that the deceased was called upon to do in the afterlife. More than two hundred shabti fragments 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, not surprisingly, Akhenaten's shabtis are inscribed only with the king's names and titles (see 47.57.2 or 66.99.106), not the standard shabti text (see 86.1.22).

Shawabtis for the king's burial were probably prepared throughout his reign and in different workshops, as they show considerable variability. His shabtis with his burial equipment were certainly stored in the Royal Tomb, whatever scenario is imagined around his death and burial.
Sold by M. Girod to Albert Gallatin, 1948. Gallatin Collection purchased by the Metropolitan Museum from Mr. Gallatin's estate, 1966.

Arnold, Dorothea and Emilia Cortes 2010. "Updating Winlock: An Appendix of Recent Scholarship." In Tutankhamun's Funeral, edited by Herbert E. Winlock and Dorothea Arnold. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 70–71, fig. 71.

Related Objects

Funerary Figure of Akhenaten

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

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

Figure of a Female Dwarf

Date: ca. 1981–1640 B.C. Medium: Faience Accession: 1972.48 On view in:Gallery 113

Standing Hippopotamus

Date: ca. 1961–1878 B.C. Medium: Faience Accession: 17.9.1 On view in:Gallery 111

Sphinx of Amenhotep III, possibly from a Model of a Temple

Date: ca. 1390–1352 B.C. Medium: Faience, remains of a travertine (Egyptian alabaster) tenon Accession: 1972.125 On view in:Gallery 119