Overseer Shabti of Nauny

Third Intermediate Period

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 126

Almost 400 small funerary figures known as shabtis were found with Nauny’s burial. These can be seen as avatars, meant to carry out agricultural labor on Nauny’s behalf in the afterlife. Of the 393 shabtis discovered, 355 were workers and 37 were overseers like this one. Recognizable by their long kilts and the flails that they hold, the overseer figures were meant to supervise the worker shabtis (see for example <a href="https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/625679"></a>) that worked on Nauny’s behalf in the afterlife. On the back pillar, Nauny is named as as a king’s daughter and called an “illuminated Osiris,” transformed through the process of mummification and identified with the principal god of the dead, then reanimated by the light of the sun god as he traveled through the Netherworld each night. Nauny’s shabtis were divided between seven boxes. Five of these, with their shabtis, were given to The Met, while two were sent to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

Overseer Shabti of Nauny, Faience

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