Page images

Ushabtiu figures were placed in tombs in large numbers; Ushabtiu in the toinb of Seti I. nearly seven hundred were found. The of the

XXVIth figure was inscribed, in the later times, after the XXVIth and dynasty, and laid in the model of a coffin or sarcophagus following made of wood, terra-cotta, or stone. On the coffins were painted figures of the four genii of the underworld, Anubis and other principal sepulchral deities, with appropriate inscriptions, and these models bear a striking resemblance to the coffins made in Egypt from B.C. 500-300. The inscriptions on figures of this period are frequently written in a very cursive and almost illegible hieratic, and in demotic; sometimes, however, they have the form and brevity of those inscribed on the ushabtiu figures of the XIIIth dynasty.

PTAŇ-SEKER-AUSÅR FIGURES. This name is given to a large class of wooden figures, standing on pedestals, made in the shape of the god Osiris as a mummy. The god wears on his head horns, the disk and

, them he holds the flail A and crook ?. The figures are Descrip. sometimes hollowed out, and contain papyri inscribed with tion of

figures. prayers and chapters from a late recension of the Book of the Dead. Frequently the papyri are found in hollows in the pedestals, above which stand small models of funereal chests, surmounted by a hawk; in the hollows portions of the body, , mummified, were often placed. Many figures are quite black, having been covered by bitumen; others are painted in the most vivid colours, with blue head-dress with yellow stripes, green, red and yellow collar, face gilded, and body covered with wings of a blue and green colour. The god Ptah-Seker-Ausår

appears on stelæ in company with Osiris, Anubis and other gods of the dead, and he is addressed on figures made in his honour, because he was supposed to be specially connected with the resurrection. He is sometimes represented in the form of Osiris (Lanzone, Disionario, pl. xcvii), and with all the attributes of this god ; the other forms in which he appears

Forms of are :-1. As a little squat boy, with a beetle on his head; and

a Ausar.

a throne before which is a table of offerings in a shrine. In

this form he is often painted on the outsides of coffins. ✓ Behind him is a winged uræus wearing a disk, and utats

The inscriptions upon Ptah-Seker-Ausår figures vary greatly in length; at times they are written in perpendicular lines down the front and back of the figure, and continue round

each of the four sides of the pedestal ; at others they consist of Contents

a very few words. Be the inscription long or short, the of inscrip. deceased prays that Ptah-Seker and Ausår (Osiris) will give

sepulchral meals of oxen, ducks, wine, beer, oil, and wax, and bandages, and every good, pure, and sweet thing to his ka. The formulæ of these figures greatly resemble those found on stelæ of a late period. The British Museum possesses a remarkably fine collection of these figures, and as they come from several distinct places, and have many varieties, they are most instructive.


Ornamentation of sepulchral boxes.

In addition to the chests placed in tombs to hold Canopic vases, the Egyptians made use of a smaller class of wooden boxes to hold ushabtiu figures, papyri, articles oí dress and other things. They vary in size from six or eight inches to two feet square. Some are made perfectly square, with sides that slant slightly inwards like the pylon of a temple, being higher than they are wide: others are oblong in shape, and each end rises above the level of the cover. Some have two and others four divisions. The outsides are usually ornamented with scenes in which the deceased is represented adoring Rā, or Anubis, or one of the principal gods of the dead, and with figures of Mesthå, Hāpi, Țuamāutef and Qebhsennuf, painted in bright colours upon a black or white ground. The boxes from Thebes are decorated in the same style as the coffins from that place. Frequently the ornamentation consists of in symmetrical rows, above them being figures of Osiris, Isis,

4.1.1., & fit. ctc., etc., arranged

[graphic][merged small][merged small]

Nephthys, and other gods of the dead. The inscriptions sometimes resemble those found on chests for Canopic jars, but frequently they contain prayers in which the deceased entreats the gods to give him gifts of cakes, bread, beer, wine, ducks, oxen, wax, oil, bandages, etc., etc. Such inscriptions are at times very brief, at others they cover the whole box.

An interesting class of sepulchral boxes comes from Boxes Aḥmîm, the ancient Panopolis, which deserves special Akhmim. mention. The largest of them in the British Museum (No. 18,210) is 31 feet long and 3 feet high. Each side tapers slightly towards the top, and is in the shape of a pylon. The hollow cornice is ornamented with yellow, black, and red lines upon a white ground. Beneath it are two rows of ornaments: the first is formed by fall, and the second by $i & 1 repeated several times. Beneath each line is a row of five-rayed stars ***** The front of the box is ornamented with f f f and uræi wearing disks and a winged disk . Behind is a hawk upon a pedestal, before which is an altar with offerings. On the right hand side is Thoth with both hands raised, pouring out a libation; and on the left is a hawk-headed deity with both hands raised also pouring out a libation. On the back of the box is a hawk, with extended wings, and sceptres f. On the right hand side of the box is a figure of the deceased, kneeling, having his left hand raised, and above him are two cartouches 00. Behind him are three jackal-headed deities, each having his left arm raised, while his right hand is clenched and laid upon his stomach. On the left hand side of the box the deceased is represented in the same attitude, and behind him are three hawk-headed deities. These six gods form the vignettes of the 112th and 113th chapters of the Book of the Dead ; the hawk-headed were called Horus, Mesthå, and Hāpi, and the jackal-headed Horus, Țuamāutef and Qebhsennuf; they are figured in Lanzone, Dizionario, Tav. xxvi. In two sides of the box are two pairs of rectangular openings about six inches from each end ; the use of these is unknown to me.

1 For the description of a similar box see my article in Proc. Soc. Bib. Arch., 1886, pp. 120-122.

« PreviousContinue »