Shabti of lady Mehytweskhet

Shabti of lady Mehytweskhet
Description and typology: Mummiform. Third Intermediate Period striated lappet wig with one horizontal band on lappets. Without beard. Arms crossed on the chest. Hands crossed right over left, unsleeved. Hoes in both hands. Flat back. Face is oval and well shaped. Eyes with brows. Ears are well shaped. Hieroglyphic inscription is written in one vertical column names the owner Mehyt-weskhet. Her name is written in a royal cartouche with the title “Divine Adoratrice of Amun, Lord of the Two Lands”.

Hieroglyphic inscription:
Wsjr dwAt-nTr n Jmn nb tAwy Mhyt-wsxt mry-Mwt Dt
The Osiris, the Divine Adoratrice of Amun, Lord of the Two Lands, Mehyt-weskhet, beloved of Mut forever.

The Lady Mehyt-weskhet was the important character from the Third Intermediate period. Sometimes scholars call her Mehyten-weskhet or Mehtenweskhet. On her shabtis she held the titles “The Divine Adoratrice of Amun” and “God’s Wife of Amun” which means that she was very important person in the region of Thebes, probably the daughter of the High Priest of Amun, maybe Menkheperre Hemnetjertepyenamun (1045–992 B.C.), who ruled the Upper Egypt during the Third Intermediate period. On her shabtis she also held name Mut-em-hat what was suggested to be the prenomen or throne name of Mahytweskhet. According to the Yoyotte dating of the “Divine Adoratrices of Amun” it seems that she was the third in line and that she lived at the end of 11th or during the early 10th century B.C.

Historians and the Egyptologist has very little knowledge about her life. She is also mentioned on the stele Pasenhor B from Serapeum in Saqqara and on the text formerly on the roof of the Khonsu temple in Karnak. According to the previous historiographical research she married Shoshenq with whom she got Akheperra Setepenra, later know as king Osorkon the Elder (984–978 B.C.). She was also grandmother of Hedjkheperra, Shoshenq I (945–924 B.C.).

Her shabtis were often broken, probably during the antiquity, which could also mean that her tomb was robbed in antiquity when her grave goods along with shabtis were taken out and probably sold. From one of such robberies during the middle of the 1st century B.C. probably came this shabti which was found in the Hellenistic grave in Krk.

This shabti is one of three known terracotta shabtis which belonged to the owner Mehyt-weskhet. The other two specimens are kept in Montserrat and Moscow. Her faience shabties were discovered in Thebes. Lepsius brought two of them from Thebes. Petrie mentioned that he acquired her shabti in 1887 in Luxor where it was brought from western Thebes. One of her shabtis (Cairo CG48527) was discovered in Deir el-Bahri pit in the so-called the Royal Cache.

Catalogue entry

Shabti of lady Mehytweskhet
Franciscan Monastery, Košljun
Archaeological collection
Inv. no. 642
Krk (Curicum), courtyard of the house Šinigoj, date unknown
Third Intermediate Period; the late 21st-early 22nd Dynasty or the copy of the original shabti crafted during the Ptolemaic period (306-30 B.C.)
terracotta: baked earth, carving
15.8 x 5 cm
Typology: Schneider 1977, class VIIIC1; Tomorad class N
Cf. Ägyptisches Museum-Neues Museum, Berlin: 7418; Egyptian museum, Cairo: CG48455-CG48457, CG48527; Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London: UC38077, UC39870, UC39871; Museo de Montserrat, Montserrat: 610.105; Hermitage Museum, Moscow: 1615; Brooklyn museum of art, New York: 37.154E; Metropolitan museum of art, New York: 22.3.13, 22.3.14; Musée du Louvre, Paris: N2249, E5334; Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, Swansea: W1315.


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