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MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.


An ancient Egyptian shawabty is a funerary figurine that was intended to magically animate in the Afterlife in order to act as a proxy for the deceased when called upon to tend to field labor or other tasks. This expressed purpose was sometimes written on the shawabty itself in the form of a...

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From Egypt, Giza Pit G 7757 A, (tomb of Kheperre) room III (burial chamber). 1929: excavated by the Harvard University–Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; assigned to the MFA in the division of finds by the government of Egypt.

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition

Egyptian, Late Period, Dynasty 26, reign of Amasis, 570–526 B.C.


Giza, Egypt


Overall: 6.3 cm (2 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique



The Ancient World


Tomb equipment, Shawabtys and Shawabty Boxes