Page images
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

That is to say, the deceased addresses each figure and says, "O usltabtiu figures, if the Osiris," that is, the deceased, " is decreed to do any work whatsoever in the underworld, may all obstacles be cast down in front of him!" The figure answers and says, "Here am I ready whenever thou callest." The deceased next says, "O ye figures, be ye ever watchful to work, to plough and sow the fields, to water the canals, and to carry sand from the east to the west." The figures reply, " Here am I ready when thou callest."

The 6th chapter of the Book of the Dead, which also forms a part of the 151st chapter, is part text and part a representation of the chamber in which the deceased in his coffin is laid. In the representation of the funereal chamber which accompanies the 151st chapter of the Book of the Dead, two ushabtiu figures only are shown, and the same text is written by the side of each of them. See Naville, Das Todtcnbuck, Bl. clxxiii, Eitileitung, p. 180.

[graphic]

Usluibtiu figures were placed in tombs in large numbers; Ushabtiu in the tomb of Seti I. nearly seven hundred were found. The ^xvith figure was inscribed, in the later times, after the XXVIth and dynasty, and laid in the model of a coffin or sarcophagus d°'n^"f, 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 XHIth dynasty.

Ptah-seker-ausar 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

plumes J^i_, his hands are crossed over his breast, and in

them he holds the flail ,/\ and crook \. The figures are Descripsometimes hollowed out, and contain papyri inscribed with ||onr°* 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-Ausar ° ^ <^> appears

on stelas 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, Dizionario, pi. xcvii), and with all the attributes of this god ; the other forms in which he appears Forms of

Ptah

Seker

Ausar.

Contents of inscriptions.

are:—i. As a little squat boy, with a beetle on his head; and

2. As a hawk wearing a crown and feathers *£^> standing on

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 uraeus wearing a disk, and ut'ats ^f^« The inscriptions upon Ptah-Seker-Ausar 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 a very few words. Be the inscription long or short, the deceased prays that Ptah-Seker and Ausar (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 formulae of these figures greatly resemble those found on stelae 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.

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 of 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 Orna- and others four divisions. The outsides are usually ornaoTse'pul"11 mented with scenes in which the deceased is represented adoring Ra, or Anubis, or one of the principal gods of the dead, and with figures of Mestha, Hapi, Tuamautef 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 j|, j, ||, J J J) etc> etc-> arranged in symmetrical rows, above them being figures of Osiris, Isis,

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »