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Tempio Leon Battista Alberti

Shabti of Sety 1st

In October 1817, the Paduan Giovanni Battista Belzoni discovered the tomb of Sety I in West Thebes in the Valley of the Kings, whose current name is Biban el-Moluk. In the last burial chamber, carved deep into the rock, Belzoni found hundreds of ushabti figurines, very varied in technique and style of execution, which now enrich Egyptian collections, large and small around the world. Most of the statuettes are made of wood and retain at least some traces of a black resinous substance that covered them entirely: this colour helped to identify them with the God of the underworld and fertility Osiris. The shabtis in the Acerbi collection are similar to these and depict the ruler in an essential manner: their heads show a simple hairstyle, their arms are crossed at the front with the hands clenched into fists, their bodies are wrapped in the burial shroud on which the sixth chapter of the Book of the Dead is engraved. This text that is said to have magically reanimated the ushabti guaranteeing the eternal rebirth of the deceased in association with the life cycle of nature.

Dove vedere quest’operaWhere to see this work of art

New Kingdom, 19th dynasty, reign of Sety I (1290-1279 BC)
wood with traces of black varnish
West Thebes, Valley of the Kings, KV17

Other Works of art from this Exhibition

Akhem falcon statuettes