Shabtis and  ancient Egypt
The Shabti Collections
The Amasis Collection
SHABTIS A Private View
Glenn Janes
The Shabti spell

The ‘Shabti spell’ gave the instructions intended for the figurines as they went about their duties on behalf of the deceased in the Afterlife. The spell is taken from Chapter 6 of the Book of the Dead, the earliest version of which appeared in the Coffin Texts of the Middle Kingdom, - ‘Spell for making an ushabti work (for a man) in the God’s Land.’ It was inscribed on the shabtis with certain variations depending at which time they were made. Sometimes the complete spell was used, or certain clauses were omitted. Very often, as seen in the Third Intermediate Period and the Late Period, only the Osiris name and title of the deceased was given.
Spell inv 3.png
Spell inv 3.png
The illuminated one, the Osiris title(s) and name of the owner, born to mother or father’s name justified, he says: O, this ushabti, if one counts the Osiris, title(s) and name again, born to parent’s name again justified, to do all the works that are to be done there in the realm of the dead - now indeed obstacles are implanted therewith - as a man at this duties, ‘here I am’ you shall say when you are counted off at any time to serve there, to cultivate the fields, to irrigate the river banks, to ferry the sand of the west to the east and vice-versa; ‘here I am,’ you shall say.