Shabti of King Anlamani - ROM2011_11750_43


Shabti of King Anlamani

Medium:Glazed composition (faience)
Geography: Excavated at Nuri, Sudan (ancient Upper Nubia)
Date: c. 620-590 BC
Period: Reign of Anlamani, Napatan Period
26.35 x 9 x 4 cm
Object number: 926.15.6
Credit Line: Gift of the Government of Sudan
On view
Gallery Location:Galleries of Africa: Nubia

This mummiform statuette represents King Anlamani, the son of King Senkamanisken, who ruled Nubia c. 620-590 BC. It is a funerary figurine or shabti, which was recovered by George Reisner’s Harvard-Boston 1915-1918 excavations at the site of Nuri; it was gifted to the ROM by the government of Sudan in 1926.  Shabtis were placed in royal Nubian tombs to assist the deceased in the afterworld, as detailed in Spell 6 of The Book of the Dead. The eight lines of deeply incised hieroglyphs on this shabti direct it answer for the deceased in the realm of the dead when work needs to be done. It directs the figure to answer “here I am” when the deceased is called upon to perform corvée labour in the afterlife, such as cultivating the fields, irrigating the river banks, or moving sand from the east to west or vice-versa. The figure is made of a pale green faience which has faded and cracked over time.

The royal status of Anlamani is indicated by a plain nemes headdress with a lappet on each shoulder and which is gathered into a sort of pigtail at the back.  There is a single uraeus snake on his brow. The facial features are well modelled. He wears a plaited false beard.  His hands are held across his chest opposite each. The tools that he holds indicate his readiness for agricultural work in the Afterlife.  He holds a hoe in his right hand and a hoe and a cord in his left hand. The cord leads to a small square seed bag slung over his left shoulder. The bag is decorated by a criss-cross pattern and has a small tassel at the base.

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