Shabti of Yuya

New Kingdom

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 119

In 1905, Theodore M. Davis of Providence, R.I. was sponsoring excavations in the Valley of the Kings. On February 5, his excavator, James E. Quibell, discovered an intact tomb, KV 46, that contained the burials of Yuya and Tjuyu. Although not of royal ancestry themselves, Yuya and Tjuyu were the father and mother of Queen Tiye, the principal wife of Amenhotep III, mother of Akhenaten, and grandmother of Tutankhamun. As in-laws of the king, Yuya and Tjuyu were given a well appointed burial in the royal cemetery.

The majority of the objects from the tomb are now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo, but Davis was allowed to keep a small portion of the finds including three shabtis, two shabti boxes, and a set of shabti tools. Carved of cedar, with the face, part of the headdress, and necklace covered with gold foil, this shabti is the most sumptuous of the three. It has been inscribed with chapter six of the Book of the Dead. This spell ensures that the shabti will take Yuya's place if he is required to perform agricultural labor in the afterlife.

Other pieces from the tomb that are now in the Museum's collection include two sealed storage jars, and a pair of sandals.

Shabti of Yuya, Cedar, gold, paint

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