Mere Scraps of Rough Wood?

Book reviews Home

Name: Mere Scraps of Rough Wood? 17th-18th Dynasty Stick Shabtis in the Petrie Museum and other collections
Author: Paul Whelan
First published: 2007, Golden House Publications, London,
GHP Egyptology 6
Amount of pages: 151
ISBN: 978-1-906137-00-7
Average price: EUR 40
Availability: Good
Language: English

Content:
P. Whelan  
Review:
   

 

This book deals entirely with stick shabtis. An often overlooked and misunderstood phenomen of shabtis of the 17th and early 18th Dynasty. Often these shabtis are wrongly accused of being mere scraps of rough wood (the title refers to the description of Flinders Petrie when he excavated them) and scholars often think that the quality of shabti making in this period declined (me included).

This important study sheds a new light on these shabtis and places them in a broader perspective of the time. The author Paul Whelan links the shabti models of this period to the coffins of the same time and states that the shabtis were likely made to the craftsman that also made the coffins of the time. This appears logic to me now as i recently (2007) understood during the TIP conference of Leiden University that the same applies to shabtis, coffins and steles in the TIP. Furthermore, the link of the coffins and the shabtis of the late period are obvious as well (the way the feet are modelled, the back pillar and so on).

The book contains a wide overview of the stick shabtis in the Petrie musuem, other museums and private collections (pictures in B&W unfortunately).

Conclusion

This book is a great addition for the shabti interested reader, it is not expensive and readily available. It does not get the 5 shabti mark just because the pics are B&W. If you are a museum curator, dealer or shabti collector, add this book to your collection!