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

The ushabtis are small mummified figures representing the deceased himself, whose name means "those who respond" since they would perform those jobs that were ordered by their lord in the afterlife The ushabtis arise in the Middle Empire, at the beginning they were made in persea wood.  Its rapid popularization caused that they began to be made in series, by means of other simpler and less manual techniques that allowed to cover the demand. In some tombs you could find up to 365 for the day and 365 for the night, so that their lord, the deceased, would not lack help for all eternity. These ushabtis could be arranged in boxes or even one representing them all. These boxes became very common as they reinforced the magical power of the servants. The ancient Egyptians believed in the magic of sculptures and words, that is why for them these magic figures would accompany them to their eternal life and once there they would come alive and serve them faithfully. This blue faience ushabti carries his farming implements, beard and a tripartite wig. Its magnificent inscription reads: "May the Osiris (priest) of Tius be enlightened and justified. Born of Tayderek, justified. He says: Oh! ushebtis, 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 break down the obstacles, to cultivate the fields, to irrigate the riverside lands and to transport the sand from west to east and vice versa. Here I am! you will say." This magnificent inscription, in which he speaks of the justified, an expression to refer to the dead, and even of his own mother, makes him a unique example.


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