This Shabti Collection from the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology includes a significant range of funerary figurines or shabti dating from ancient Egypt. These figurines were predominantly created using faience, although some were made from other materials like wood, stone, glass, or wax. Regarded as servants in the afterlife, each Shabti is marked with a formulaic inscription, which according to ancient beliefs, would 'activate' the figurine when the name of its owner was pronounced.

The Shabti statuettes, measuring between 10 to 30 centimeters in height, bear both carved and painted inscriptions, often depicting the figures with various work-related implements and wearing clothing that corresponds with the societal status, at times bearing resemblance to royal attire. The chronological span of the collection extends from the Middle Kingdom, approximately 4000 years ago, to the Ptolemaic Period in 30 B.C.

The collection exhibits the evolution of craftsmanship techniques over this period. The cruise design and limited color palette (mostly in hues of blue and green) of the Middle Kingdom Shabti gave way to detailed, realistic features and complex body postures by the New Kingdom. The inscriptions also became more intricate, extensive, and readable over time

Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology
Valley of the Kings