My master created me to be buried with
him in his tomb. In the afterlife, my
master will come alive and may be called
upon to do work like farming and irrigation.
He has inscribed me with a magical spell
in hieroglyphics which when recited, I
will come alive and serve him in that
life. The spell is "O shawabti, if
the deceased is called upon to do work
in the next world, answer "Here I
am!" Plough fields, fill the canals
with water and carry the sand of the east
to the west."
Notice that I am in a mummified form except
for my hands which are protruding from
the bandages. That is so I can work for
my master and do the jobs required of
me. My name "shawabti" refers
to the persea-tree out of which some of
us were made, although I am made of faience.
Faience is a paste made of ground quartz
or of sand with a high percentage of quartz.
To make me, the faience paste was pressed
into a mould and then fired.
When baked, the glaze migrates to the
outside, producing a smooth glassy surface.
The quality and the colour of the glaze
depend on the impurities in the paste.
Some, like me range in colour from bright
dark blue to various shades of turquoise
and pale green. We also come in all sizes
and shapes. Another name for me is "ushabti"
which means "answerer".
Thus when my master is called to work
in the afterlife, I will answer for him.
There are other ushabtis buried with me
so my master will have many servants in
the afterlife. I was made around the year
600 BC according to your calendar, near
the present city of Cairo in Egypt.
Courtesy of www.gizapyramid.com