Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Shabti of Yuya

New Kingdom
Dynasty 18
reign of Amenhotep III
ca. 1390–1352 B.C.
From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Valley of the Kings, Tomb of Yuya and Tjuyu (KV 46), Davis/Quibell & Weigall excavations, 1905
Cedar, gold, paint
H. 26.5 cm (10 7/16 in.)
Credit Line:
Theodore M. Davis Collection, Bequest of Theodore M. Davis, 1915
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 119
In 1905 Theodore M. Davis, an American from Providence, R.I. who was sponsoring excavations in the Valley of the Kings, 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, who became the principal wife of Amenhotep III, the mother of Akhenaten, and the grandmother of Tutankhamun. As in-laws of the king, they 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 (30.8.56–.58), two shabti boxes (30.8.59, .60), and a set of shabti tools (30.8.61–.64). 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 the chapter six of the Book of the Dead, the shabti spell that ensures 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 (11.155.7 and 11.155.9), and a pair of sandals (10.184.1a, b).
Theodore M. Davis Excavations by Quibell and Weigall, 1905. Acquired by Davis in the division of finds, 1905. Theodore M. Davis Collection 1905-1015. Bequeathed to the Museum by Davis, 1915; accessioned, 1930.

Hayes, William C. 1959. Scepter of Egypt II: A Background for the Study of the Egyptian Antiquities in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Part II: The Hyksos Period and the New Kingdom (1675-1080 B.C.). Cambridge, Mass.: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 261, 263, fig. 158.

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