The ushabti was a funerary figurine used in ancient Egyptian religion. The Egyptological term is derived from Ancient Egyptian: wšbtj, which replaced earlier šwbtj the nisba of šwꜣb "Persea tree". Ushabtis were placed in tombs among the grave goods and were intended to act as servants or minions for the deceased, should they be called upon to do manual labor in the afterlife; the figurines carried a hoe on their shoulder and a basket on their backs, implying they were intended to farm for the deceased. They were written on by the use of hieroglyphs found on the legs, they carried inscriptions asserting their readiness to answer the gods' summons to work. The practice of using ushabtis originated in the Old Kingdom of Egypt, with the use of life-sized reserve heads made from limestone, which were buried with the mummy. Most ushabtis were of minor size, many produced in multiples – they sometimes covered the floor around a sarcophagus. Exceptional ushabtis are of larger size. Due to the ushabti's commonness through all Egyptian time periods, world museums' desire to represent ancient Egyptian art objects, the ushabti is one of the most represented objects in Egyptology displays.
Produced in huge numbers, along with scarabs, are the most numerous of all ancient Egyptian antiquities to survive. The term shabti applies to these figures prior to the Twenty-first Dynasty of Egypt, but only after the end of the First Intermediate Period, only to those figurines inscribed with Chapter Six of the Book of the Dead. Otherwise, they might better be defined by the generic term "funerary figurines". Shabtis were servant figures, it was necessary for the owner's name to be inscribed on an ushabti, along with a phrase sending them to action, written in the hieratic script. The shawabti were a distinct class of funerary figurines within the area of Thebes during the New Kingdom; the term ushabti became prevalent after the 21st Dynasty and remained in use until the Ptolemaic Kingdom. It is thought by some that the term ushabti meant "follower" or "answerer" in Ancient Egyptian, because the figurine "answered" for the deceased person and performed all the routine chores of daily life for its master in the afterlife that the gods had planned for them, although it would be difficult to reconcile this derivation with the form shawabti.
Ushabti inscriptions contain the 6th chapter of the Book of the Dead, translated as: Illumine the Osiris, whose word is truth. Hail, Shabti Figure! If the Osiris be decreed to do any of the work, to be done in Khert-Neter, let everything which standeth in the way be removed from him- whether it be to plough the fields, or to fill the channels with water, or to carry sand from the East to the West; the Shabti Figure replieth: "I will do it, verily I am here when thou callest".. In rare cases different chapters of the Book of the Dead are written. Furthermore, ushabtis mention the name and the titles of the owner, without the spells of the Book of the Dead. Before being inscribed on funerary figurines, the spell was written on some mid-Twelfth Dynasty coffins from Deir el-Bersha and is known today as spell 472 of the Coffin Texts. Mentioned first in spell 472 of the Coffin Texts, they were included in the grave goods of the dead as small figurines since the reign of Mentuhotep II of the 11th Dynasty.
Some think that they may have symbolically replaced human sacrificial burials, called retainer sacrifices, a somewhat improbable theory as centuries had passed between the last known sacrificial burials and the appearance of the ushabtis. They were distinguished from other statuettes by being inscribed with the name of the deceased, his titles, with spell 472 of the Coffin Texts or the speech of the ushabti figure found in Chapter Six of the Book of the Dead. In the 18th Dynasty during the reign of Amenhotep IV, the figurines were inscribed with an offering addressed to the sun disk, rather than the traditional speech of the ushabti figure; the ushabti was believed to magically animate after the dead had been judged, work for the dead person as a substitute labourer in the fields of Osiris. From the New Kingdom onwards, it was referred to as servant. From the 21st Dynasty on, ushabtis became numerous in graves. In some tombs the floor was covered with a great many ushabti figurines. At times, several hundred ushabti were placed in a deceased Ancient Egyptian's tomb, but pharaohs had more of these servants than commoners, king Taharqa had more than a thousand.
Some tombs contained overseer or'reis' ushabtis holding a whip, which were responsible for groups of ten ushabti each -. These overseers became rare during the Late Period; the tomb of Tutankhamun had a large number of ushabtis. However, they were of varying sizes, most were ornate, with hieroglyph statements, they were divided into groups: gold-foiled. Ushabtis were mummiform, but during the Dynasty XVIII reign of Thutmose IV, they began to be fashioned as servants with baskets and other agricultural tools; some ushabtis were beautiful in form, in colour, when of enamel. They were made of wood or stone.
Tomb KV2, found in the Valley of the Kings, is the tomb of Ramesses IV, is located low down in the main valley, between KV7 and KV1. It contains a large amount of graffiti. There are two known plans of the tomb's layout contemporary to its construction. One on papyrus provides a detailed depiction of the tomb at 1:28 scale. All of the passages and chambers are present, with measurements written in hieratic script; the papyrus plan depicts the pharaoh's sarcophagus surrounded by four concentric sets of shrines, the same layout of shrines that were found intact within Tutankhamun's tomb. The other plan of the tomb was found inscribed on a slab of limestone not far from the tomb's entrance, is a rough layout of the tomb depicting the location of its doors; the latter plan may have just been a "workman's doodle" but the papyrus plan certainly had a deeper ritual meaning, may have been used to consecrate the tomb after it was built. A hieratic ostracon has been discovered mentioning the founding of the tomb, its place selected by the local Governor and two of the pharaoh's chief attendants in the second year of his reign.
Ramesses IV ascended the throne late in life, to ensure that he would have a sizable tomb, he doubled the size of the existing work gangs at Deir el-Medina to a total of 120 men. Though sizable, KV2 has been described as being "simplistic" in its decoration; the tomb was excavated at the base of a hill on the northwest side of the Valley of the Kings. Like other tombs of the 20th Dynasty, KV2 is laid out along a straight axis; the successors of Ramesses III from this dynasty constructed tombs that follow this pattern and most were decorated in a similar manner to each other. The tomb has a maximum length of 88.66 m and consists of three descending corridors labeled B, C, D. This is followed by an enlarged chamber, the burial chamber. Past the burial chamber lies a narrow corridor flanked by three side chambers; the tomb is intact and is decorated with scenes from the Litany of Ra, Book of Caverns, Book of the Dead, Book of Amduat and the Book of the Heavens. The sarcophagus is broken, the mummy was relocated to the mummy cache in KV35.
The tomb was one of about eleven tombs open to early travelers. KV2 contains the second-highest number of ancient graffiti within it, with 656 individual griffitos left by both Ancient Greek and Roman visitors; this tomb contains around 50 or so examples of Coptic graffiti sketched onto the right wall by the entranceway, The tomb was used as a dwelling by Coptic monks, there are depictions of Coptic saints and crosses on the tomb's walls. Early European visitors to the area included Richard Pococke, who visited KV2 and designated it "Tomb B" in his Observations of Egypt, published in 1743; the savants accompanying Napoleon's campaign in Egypt surveyed the Valley of the Kings and designated KV2 as "IIe Tombeau" in their list. Other visitors of note included James Burton who mapped out the tomb in 1825, the Franco-Tuscan Expedition of 1828-1829 did an epigraphic survey of the tomb's inscriptions. Archeologist Edward Ayrton excavated the entranceway to the tomb during 1905/1906, followed by Howard Carter in 1920.
Both of them found remnants of the materials which had come from inside the tomb, such as shabtis, numerous ostraca and fragments of wood and Faience. Reeves, N & Wilkinson, R. H; the Complete Valley of the Kings, 1996, Thames and Hudson, London Siliotti, A. Guide to the Valley of the Kings and to the Theban Necropolises and Temples, 1996, A. A. Gaddis, Cairo Theban Mapping Project: KV2 - Includes description and plans of the tomb
Tomb KV46 in the Valley of the Kings is the tomb of Yuya and his wife Tjuyu, the parents of Queen Tiye, the wife of Amenhotep III, King Ay. It was discovered in February 1905 by James E. Quibell. Quibell was sponsored by Theodore M. Davis, who published an account of the excavation in 1907. KV 46 consists of a staircase leading down to a further descending corridor and a unique burial chamber; the walls of the tomb are not decorated and were never meant to be: the walls are unplastered and were not smoothed. Until the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb in 1922, this was the richest and best preserved tomb found in the valley, the first to be found with major items in situ apart from the Tomb of Kha or TT8, rather the tomb of an Egyptian nobleman. Located in a small branch of the main valley between two Ramesside tombs, KV46 contained the intact sarcophagi of Yuya and Tjuyu. Differences in the embalming techniques used for Yuya and Tjuyu indicates that they died at different times and were placed in the tomb accordingly.
KV46 was robbed in antiquity, most three times: a first time shortly after the closure of the tomb, twice during the construction of the adjacent tombs KV3 and KV4. During the first looting, only perishable products such as oil were removed; the second and third times however the looters took most of the jewellery but were not able to remove Yuya and Tjuyu's funerary masks. Davis, Theodore M; the Tomb of Iouiya and Touiyou. London: Duckworth Press, 2000. ISBN 0-7156-2963-8 Theban Mapping Project: KV46 - Includes detailed map of the tomb
Located in the Valley of the Kings, Tomb KV12 is an unusual tomb, used in the Eighteenth Dynasty of Ancient Egypt, again in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Dynasties. It was used for multiple burials of royal family members, rather like KV5; the builders of KV9 broke into KV12 whilst excavating that tomb. During the excavation, rumors of the second tomb had circulated throughout the camp, leading scientists dismissed the idea and continued on. Little did they realize the mistake, about to be made; the tomb diggers broke through the ground into the tomb only to find the remains of multiple family members in the new tomb. Researchers are still working on identifying the family members and collecting the other artifacts in the tomb. Reeves, N & Wilkinson, R. H; the Complete Valley of the Kings, 1996, Thames and Hudson, London. Siliotti, A. Guide to the Valley of the Kings and to the Theban Necropolises and Temples, 1996, A. A. Gaddis, Cairo. Theban Mapping Project: KV12 - Includes description and plans of the tomb.
Images showing KV12 and KV9
Amenhotep II was the seventh Pharaoh of the 18th dynasty of Egypt. Amenhotep inherited a vast kingdom from his father Thutmose III, held it by means of a few military campaigns in Syria, his reign is dated from 1427 to 1401 BC. Amenhotep II was born to a minor wife of the king: Merytre-Hatshepsut, he was not, the firstborn son of this pharaoh. However, between Years 24 and 35 of Thutmose III, both queen Satiah and prince Amenemhat died, which prompted the pharaoh to marry the non-royal Merytre-Hatshepsut, she would bear Thutmose III a number of children including the future Amenhotep II. Amenhotep II was born and raised in Memphis in the north, instead of in Thebes, the traditional capital. While a prince, he oversaw deliveries of wood sent to the dockyard of Peru-nūfe in Memphis, was made the Setem, the high priest over Lower Egypt. Amenhotep has left several inscriptions touting his athletic skills while he was a leader of the army before his crowning. Amenhotep was no less athletic than his powerful father.
He claims to have been able to shoot an arrow through a copper target one palm thick, that he was able to row his ship faster and farther than two hundred members of the navy could row theirs. Accordingly, some skepticism concerning the truth of his claims has been expressed among Egyptologists. Amenhotep acceded to the throne on the first day of the fourth month of Akhet, but his father died on the thirtieth day of the third month of Peret. If an Egyptian crown prince was proclaimed king but did not take the throne on the day after his father's death, it meant that he served as the junior coregent during his father's reign. A coregency with Thutmose III and Amenhotep II is believed to have lasted for two years and four months; when he assumed power, Amenhotep II was 18 years old according to an inscription from his great Sphinx stela: "Now his Majesty appeared as king as a fine youth after he had become'well developed', had completed eighteen years in his strength and bravery."After becoming pharaoh, Amenhotep married a woman of uncertain parentage named Tiaa.
As many as ten sons and one daughter have been attributed to him. Amenhotep's most important son was Thutmose IV. Princes Amenhotep, Webensenu and Nedjem are all attested, Amenemhat and Aakheperure as well as a daughter, are possible children. Papyrus B. M. 10056, which dates to sometime after Amenhotep II's tenth year, refers to a king's son and setem-priest Amenhotep. This Amenhotep might be attested in a stele from Amenhotep II's temple at Giza, however the stele's name has been defaced so that positive identification is impossible. Stele B may belong to Webensenu. Webensenu's name is otherwise attested on a statue of Amenhotep's chief architect and his canopic jars and a funerary statue have been found in Amenhotep II's tomb. Another Giza stele, stele C, records the name of a Prince Amenemopet, whose name is otherwise unattested; the same statue with the name Webensenu on it is inscribed with the name of prince Nedjem, otherwise unattested. There are other references to king's sons from this period who may or may not be sons of Amenhotep II.
Two graffiti from Sahel mention a king's son and stable master named Khaemwaset, but which king is his father is unknown. A figure with the name Amenemhet is recorded behind a prince Amenhotep in Theban tomb 64, assuming this Amenhotep is indeed the king's son from B. M. 10056, Amenemhat would be Amenhotep II's son. Additionally, a prince Aakheperure is mentioned in a Konosso graffito alongside a prince Amenhotep, if one again assumes that this Amenhotep was the same person as the one in B. M. 10056, Aakheperure would have been Amenhotep II's son. However, in both these cases the figure identified as Amenhotep has been identified by some as possible references to the King Amenhotep III, which would make these two princes sons Thutmose IV. In addition to sons, Amenhotep II may have had a daughter named Iaret, but she could have been the daughter of Thutmose IV. Two more sons had been attributed to Amenhotep II in the past. Gauthier catalogued one Usersatet, the "King's son of Kush," as a son of Amenhotep II, as well as one Re.
Usersatet served as Amenhotep's chief official in Nubia and was not a blood relative of the king. Amenhotep's coronation can be dated without much difficulty because of a number of lunar dates in the reign of his father, Thutmose III; these sightings limit the date of Thutmose's accession to either 1504 or 1479 BC. Thutmose died after 54 years of reign. Amenhotep's short coregency with his father would move his accession two years and four months earlier, dating his accession to either 1427 BC in the low chronology, or in 1454 BC in the high chronology; the length of his reign is indicated by a wine jar inscribed with the king's prenomen found in Amenhotep II's funerary temple at Thebes. Mortu
Edward R. Ayrton
Edward Russell Ayrton was an English Egyptologist and archaeologist. He was the son of William Scrope Ayrton, 1849-1904 and his wife Ellen Louisa McClatchie, was born in Wuhu, China, on 17 December 1882, he was educated in London. He began his career in Egyptology at the age of 20, assisting the pioneer of systematic methodology in archaeology William Matthew Flinders Petrie, he joined Petrie on the Egypt Exploration Fund excavations at Abydos from 1902 to 1904. Ayrton's first independent work was the excavation of the Second Dynasty site of Shunet ez Zebib, he worked near Ghurab with William Leonard Stevenson Loat. In 1904-05 he excavated and recorded graves of several ancient princesses found in the funerary temple complex of king Mentuhotep II at Deir al-Bahari, as part of the expedition led by Édouard Naville and Henry Hall. Working for Theodore M. Davis in Egypt's Valley of the Kings from 1905 to 1908, he discovered the following tombs: KV47 KV55 KV56 and KV57, he led or participated in the excavation of the following tombs: KV2, KV10, KV46, KV47, KV48, KV49, KV50, KV51, KV52, KV53, KV54, KV56, KV57, KV59, KV60.
Again working with Loat, in 1908-09 he excavated amongst the Sixth Dynasty tombs at Abydos and the Predynastic cemetery at El Mahasna. In 1911 he accepted a position with the Archaeological Survey of Ceylon. On the 18 May 1914 he drowned while on a shooting expedition, in an accident on the Tissa Tank lake, Tissamaharama, in southern Ceylon; the Times Newspaper printed his obituary on the 23 May 1914. The Estate of £ 457 18s 1d is left to Florence Margaret Ayrton. E. R. Ayrton, "Discovery of the tomb of Si-ptah in the Bibân el Molûk, Thebes", PSBA, 28, 1906. Edward R. Ayrton and W. L. S. Loat, "Pre-dynastic cemetery at El Mahasna", 1911, London. Edward R. Ayrton, "The Date of Buddhadasa of Ceylon from a Chinese Source". Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, 1911. Edward R. Ayrton, "The Excavation of the Tomb of Queen Tîyi", The Tomb of Queen Tîyi, ed. Nicholas Reeves, San Francisco, KMT Communications, 1990. Obituary in The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, Vol. 2, No.
1, pp. 20-23
Tomb KV17, located in Egypt's Valley of the Kings and known by the names "Belzoni's tomb", "the Tomb of Apis", "the Tomb of Psammis, son of Nechois", is the tomb of Pharaoh Seti I of the Nineteenth Dynasty. It is one of the best decorated tombs in the valley, but now is always closed to the public due to damage; as per November 2017 holders of a 1000 EGP entry ticket or of a Luxor Pass can visit this tomb. It was first discovered by Giovanni Battista Belzoni on 16 October 1817; when he first entered the tomb he found the wall paintings in excellent condition with the paint on the walls still looking fresh and some of the artists paints and brushes still on the floor. The longest tomb in the valley, at 137.19 meters, it contains well preserved reliefs in all but two of its eleven chambers and side rooms. One of the back chambers is decorated with the Ritual of the Opening of the Mouth, which stated that the mummy's eating and drinking organs were properly functioning. Believing in the need for these functions in the afterlife, this was a important ritual.
A long tunnel leads away deep into the mountainside from beneath the location where the sarcophagus stood in the burial chamber. The excavation of this corridor was completed, it turned out that there was any other kind of chamber at the end. Work on the corridor was just abandoned upon the burial of Seti; the sarcophagus removed on behalf of the British consul Henry Salt is since 1824 in the Sir John Soane's Museum in London. KV17 was damaged when Jean-François Champollion, translator of the Rosetta Stone, removed a wall panel of 2.26 x 1.05 m in a corridor with mirror-image scenes during his 1828-29 expedition. Other elements were removed by his companion Rossellini or the German expedition of 1845; the scenes are now in the collections of the Louvre, the museums of Berlin. The tomb became known as the "Apis tomb" because when Giovanni Belzoni found the tomb a mummified bull was found in a side room off the burial hall. A number of walls in the tomb have collapsed or cracked due to excavations in the late 1950s and early 1960s causing significant changes in the moisture levels in the surrounding rocks.
Reeves, N. & Wilkinson, R. H; the Complete Valley of the Kings, 1996, Thames and Hudson, London. Siliotti, A. Guide to the Valley of the Kings and to the Theban Necropolises and Temples 1996, A. A. Gaddis, Cairo. Belzoni, Narratives of the operations and recent discoveries in Egypt and Nubia:... 1820 Theban Mapping Project: KV17 - Includes description and plans of the tomb. 360° Photosphere virtual visit of Seti I Tomb in the Kings' Valley