Study Day Lecture Content:
1. Servants or doubles? The early development of the shabti.
Shabtis are often considered to be magical servants intended to work for the deceased in the Afterlife, especially since many are shown with agricultural implements to aid them in their tasks. By looking at the earliest developmental stages of the shabti in the Middle Kingdom we can see that this was but one role they played.
Between Different Worlds: Faience Figurines in Middle Bronze Age Egypt (1800 BC - 1650 BC)
(Prof. Gianluca Miniaci)
A chip off the old block: The unusual role of “stick” shabtis at Thebes
A crudely carved type of wooden shabti appeared at Thebes in the late 17th and early 18th Dynasty. Recent research and exciting new discoveries in the necropolis at Dra Abu el-Naga have confirmed that these otherwise unimpressive figures played an important role in cultic veneration at that time.
Re-awakening ancient ritual practices in the time of Ramesses II
The reign of Ramesses II saw considerable building activity at Abydos, not least with the completion of his father’s magnificent memorial temple as well as the construction of his own. Less well documented is the apparent re-awakening by high officials and by the king himself of earlier rituals and concepts once practiced at Abydos over half a millennia earlier.
Ta-wer study day review (2018):
Paul's breadth of knowledge, ability to impart fresh perspectives and present his subject in an accessible and engaging way make for a highly enjoyable and thought provoking day"