Egyptian faience ushabti for “Tius”, Late Period, 27th-30th dinasty, 525-341 B.C.

This ushabti figure is represented as a worker, since he wields two hoes to work in the fields of Osiris of the Hereafter. He is touched with the tripartite wig that descends between his shoulders, he wears a curly osiríaca beard, finished in a closed curve towards the front. From his mummiform shroud that covers the whole body, only the hands stand out that, crossed on the chest, hold the agricultural tools already mentioned. On the body it has nine horizontal hieroglyphic writing registers, which are given to a dorsal column without inscription. And the whole figure is supported on a small base that elevates it. Translation of the text: "Let the Osiris of Tius be enlightened, justified. Born of Tayderek, justified. He says: Oh! These ushabtis. If I am required. The Osiris of Tius, to do all the works that must be done in the Hereafter, Here I am! You will say, to tear down obstacles, to cultivate fields, to irrigate riparian lands and to transport sand from west to east and vice versa. Here I am! You will say. The ushebtis were modelled from an original bivalve. The ushebtis, an Egyptian term meaning "those who respond", were figures representing the deceased himself; they appeared in the Middle Empire and their use became popular during the New Empire, they were part of the funeral trousseau. On his body was placed chapter VI of the Book of the Dead, referring to these figures, or a very simple version with the name and titles of the deceased. Its use allowed the owner to enjoy the Mas Allá and the ushebti acted as a worker, substituting its owner in the work of the Aaru fields, the Egyptian paradise, since the Egyptians thought that the spirits of these figures would work for them in the afterlife and thus obtain their sustenance. The ushebtis placed in the trousseau were 365 figurines, one for each day of the year. In addition, 36 foremen could be added, who commanded each of the crews composed of 10 workers, to avoid possible revolts. These figures could be arranged in a wooden box for this purpose, or in many cases placed in a group in a place near the sarcophagus. In Late Times these figurines were mass-produced, increasing their number and use in the tombs of that period.


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