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A Group of Miniature Royal Sarcophagi from South Abydos

Josef W. Wegner

University of Pennsylvania

I n 1902 Arthur Weigall first defined the principal architectural features of the tomb enclosure of Senwosret III at South Abydos. 1 The enclosure can be broadly categorized as a form of cer-

emonial or mortuary enclosure by virtue of its major interior feature: the subterranean tomb or ‘cenotaph’ of Senwosret III which lies within its upper section. However, the vast, T-shaped con- figuration of the enclosure lacks immediately recognizable parallels in the wider royal mortuary tradition of ancient Egypt. Due to the absence of architectural comparanda, understanding the particular functions of the Senwosret III enclosure can only derive from detailed archaeological investigation of the enclosure studied within the context of its wider landscape. As part of the research program of the University of Pennsylvania at South Abydos, work has been ongoing on both the subterranean tomb and the mortuary enclosure. 2 It has been anticipated that excavation of the tomb’s interior along with detailed study of the features of the aboveground enclosure will provide new data with which to understand these intimately connected structures that form the symbolic focus of the mortuary complex and cult of Senwosret III at Abydos. The vast scale and heavily-sanded condition of the mortuary enclosure presents a physical challenge in the investigation of this structure. At the current time, we have examined selected areas of the enclosure in combination with work on the tomb interior. The T-shaped enclosure itself (Fig. 1) encompasses an area of 18,000 square meters, organized into an ‘Upper Enclosure,’ measuring 90 by 150 meters which abuts the base of the limestone cliffs, and a ‘Lower Enclosure’ measuring 48 by 106 meters. Together these form an asymmetrical T-shape. The Lower Enclosure extends toward the floodplain and is aligned with the central axis of the Senwosret III mortuary temple which is positioned 700 meters away at the edge of the low desert. Whereas the preserved features of the Lower Enclosure are close to the surface, the Upper Enclosure is deeply buried in sand which accumulates against the base of the gebel. The tomb enclosure as a whole is surrounded by a number of additional structures including: two brick walled, debris- filled ‘Dummy Mastabas,’ on the east side (S7, S8); and two satellite mastabas (S9, S10) on the

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Fig. 1: Plan of the Senwosret III tomb enclosure showing the concentration of model sarcophagus

Fig. 1: Plan of the Senwosret III tomb enclosure showing the concentration of model sarcophagus fragments excavated in 2004.

A Group of Miniature Royal Sarcophagi from South Abydos

west side. Also external to the tomb enclosure is a multi-chambered entrance building which is

positioned on the west side of the enclosure’s front wall and adjacent to a central ramp/staircase system that leads up into the interior. Excavations of the Senwosret III mortuary enclosure were initiated in 1997; we have now reexamined extensive sections of the architecture originally located by Weigall and also defined

a number of significant new architectural elements which had remained unnoticed during the

rapidly executed work of 1901-1902. The sequence of activity represented in the enclosure can be broadly defined as comprising two phases: (1) Phase I: during its initial period of use the enclosure seems to have functioned as an open-fronted, walled work-space, the construction site of the subterranean tomb of Senwosret III; (2) Phase II: after completion of tomb construc- tion, the front of the enclosure was walled off, and a group of special purpose buildings were

installed both inside and fronting the Lower Enclosure. 3 This second phase of activity appears to represent a brief period of ritual or ceremonial activity that likely accompanied the furnishing and final closing of the tomb. Immediately after this second phase, the majority of the standing architecture was razed. Much of the resulting debris was sealed inside the two dummy mastabas on the enclosure’s western side. In 2004 we recovered remnants of these special purpose build- ings in Mastaba S9, still retaining fresh, multi-colored plastered surfaces indicative of the short period of their use. In association with these razed buildings occur clay sealings impressed with

a stamp seal naming Dw-Inpw, Anubis-mountain. This seal appears to have served as a form of

necropolis seal associated with these special purpose buildings. Its use was perhaps limited exclu- sively to the second, ceremonial phase of the tomb enclosure. 4 One of the areas excavated in 2004 is the entrance complex (Fig. 1), currently the best pre- served section of surface architecture which appears to be linked with the primary phases of the tomb enclosure. In this location a series of superimposed staircases constitute the briefly-used formal entrance into the tomb enclosure. On the west side of the entrance sits a small, but well- constructed building containing two rooms and a projecting entrance vestibule. The rooms have wood door frames and the inner room contains a stone-lined niche. Dense deposits of ceramics on the front (north) face of this building indicate a period of intense and specialized activity defined by extensive, repetitive burning of incense in small bowls, and high-volume use of water. This building may have served as a purification house at the entrance to the enclosure during its Phase II use as a ceremonial or ritual enclosure. Other razed buildings contained in the dummy mastabas appear likely to have once populated the now-heavily denuded zone in the central part of the Lower Enclosure. An intriguing discovery made in 2004 occurred in the front part of the Lower Enclosure’s interior and adjacent to the entrance complex. In disturbed debris we retrieved seventeen frag- ments belonging to a group of model royal sarcophagi. The fragments derive from two, though perhaps more, different sarcophagi produced in fine-grained, white limestone. The sarcophagi are decorated with a miniature version of the paneled, palace-façade style which characterizes full-scale royal sarcophagi of the late Twelfth Dynasty. The fragments include elements of the paneled sarcophagus boxes, as well as matching vaulted lids. The dimensions of the lid fragments demonstrate the existence of multiple, differently scaled, model sarcophagi. Since work is still ongoing in the Senwosret III tomb enclosure, it has been a hope during recent seasons that additional related fragments might be identified. Future work may indeed produce more evidence, particularly from the extensive, still unexamined areas of the Lower Enclosure. Nevertheless, a sufficient number of fragments were recovered in 2004 to permit detailed reconstruction of the format and scale of these model sarcophagi and to present some

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preliminary thoughts on the possible function of these objects. In light of their high quality, and use of paneled, palace-façade decoration, these model sarcophagi are almost certainly royal objects. Of particular interest is the possible function of these model sarcophagi. This article will examine the fragments and possible reconstruction of the model royal sarcophagi. We will then examine their possible functions within the context of the Senwosret III tomb enclosure. Given their find spot - albeit disturbed - at the front end of the Lower Enclosure it is pos-

sible these objects relate to the primary functions of the enclosure during its initial use as a royal building site, or secondarily as a form of ceremonial enclosure. Possible explanations are their use as architects’ or builders’ models during Phase I, or their use as ritual equipment perhaps associated with the briefly used ceremonial structures of Phase II. Conceivably, they may have served as part of a suite of mortuary ceremonies associated with closing of the royal tomb itself. However, given their tenuous relationship with these razed buildings, what other possibilities exist for their function? A more probable explanation is that these sarcophagi are the remains of royal shabti burials. In the same mode that non-royal shabti equipment mimics the attributes of full-scale burial equipment, at South Abydos we may have evidence for late Middle Kingdom versions of royal shabtis buried in miniaturized paneled sarcophagi. If so, what is the origin of these royal shabtis? Two principal possibilities present themselves. One potential explanation is that the sarcophagi derive from the mortuary assemblage of the subterranean tomb of Senwosret

III or one of the other subsidiary royal tombs. In that case, they may represent some of the origi-

nal tomb equipment which had been stripped and discarded by ancient tomb robbers in the

process of plundering the site. Alternatively, however, they might derive from a differing mode

of shabti usage: that of the extrasepuchral shabti burial. The tradition of extrasepulchral shabti

burials - well attested in private examples of the late Middle Kingdom at Abydos and elsewhere - may in this case have a royal parallel in the context of the Senwosret III mortuary enclosure. Over the course of his career, David Silverman has devoted much of his intellectual energy

to understanding Egypt’s Middle Kingdom. With his long-time work on the treasures from the

tomb of Tutankhamun he has also maintained an undying passion for the study of royal funer- ary arts. This publication is written with the hope that the topic bridges these two interests and is here presented in recognition of David’s existing and ongoing contributions to Egyptology.

The South Abydos Model Sarcophagus Fragments

The fragments recovered in 2004 include seventeen pieces of both the box and lid belonging

to

two or more model sarcophagi. 5 The presence of multiple model sarcophagi is demonstrated

by

the fragments of two quite differently sized lids (Fig. 2). The lids employ the typical format

of raised rectangular ends with a shallow, vaulted top set between narrow flat ledges. The base of the lid mimics full-scale sarcophagi having a rectangular projection to fit onto the sarcophagus box. Although no fragments preserve the vault across the entire width, the curve and approxi- mate midpoint of the vault can be measured on several pieces permitting an estimate of their width and length. The lids derive from a larger model sarcophagus, here ‘Model 1,’ and a smaller one termed here ‘Model 2.’ The lid of Model 1 can be estimated at ca. 10-12 by 25-30 cm while that of Model 2 is significantly smaller at ca. 8 by 16-18 cm. 6 Although the lid fragments indicate multiple, differently scaled models, the majority of the box fragments appear to derive from a single sarcophagus, most likely the one labeled here Model 1. This sarcophagus had walls 1.85 cm in thickness. The rim of the sarcophagus has a recessed lip for the lid which has a matching projection on the inner surface. Elements of the sarcophagus box include the paneling of the lower part of the box (Fig. 3), as well as pieces of

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Fig. 2: Lid fragments associated with larger format (Model 1) and smaller format (Model 2)

Fig. 2: Lid fragments associated with larger format (Model 1) and smaller format (Model 2) model sarcophagi.

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Wegner Fig. 3: Fragments of the palace-façade paneling and reconstruction of the paneling pattern. the upper

Fig. 3: Fragments of the palace-façade paneling and reconstruction of the paneling pattern.

the upper wall and rim (Fig. 4). The format mimics that of full-scale royal sarcophagi with the palace-façade paneling comprising the lower part of the box and projecting beyond the smooth face of the upper part of the box. Although several of the fragments are eroded (eg. 034655), in the better preserved pieces the quality of carving is remarkably fine. This is seen particularly in the finely dressed, narrow recesses of the paneling - suggestive perhaps of an object produced in a royal workshop. 7 One informative fragment (034745g) preserves the full height of the upper box: from the rim down to top of the palace-façade paneling. The height of this smooth-sided, upper section of the box measures 4.95 cm. Unfortunately none of the fragments preserve the full height of the paneling itself. This dimension can only be estimated through extrapolation of total box height from other indicators such as the width (estimated from the lid fragments), and the possible ratio between paneling and overall box height as it occurs on full-scale paneled sarcophagi. On full-scale royal sarcophagi the palace-façade typically measures between 1/3 and 1/2 of total box height. 8 None of the South Abydos fragments preserves the sarcophagus base which probably had a smooth-sided plinth as occurs on full-scale royal sarcophagi. The primary box and lid fragments are shown in Figs. 2-4 which together form the basis for the photographic reconstruction of Model 1 (Fig. 6). One of the significant details of the sarcophagus box is the format of the paneling employed. Although fragmentary, a sufficient number of pieces have been recovered to reconstruct the predominant format of the paneling. This follows a pattern of raised panels, 2.25 cm wide, which project beyond the face of the

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A Group of Miniature Royal Sarcophagi from South Abydos

A Group of Miniature Royal Sarcophagi from South Abydos Fig. 4: Reconstruction of the larger model

Fig. 4: Reconstruction of the larger model sarcophagus (Model 1) showing the main identified frag- ments.

sarcophagus wall. Inside each raised panel are two recessed rectangles, one set within the other forming a niche within a niche. Separating each of the raised panels are recessed panels, 1.45 cm wide and cut into the face of the sarcophagus wall. These sunk panels have a single niche. The pattern is that of alternating raised and sunk panels: the raised panels being wider with a more complex niche pattern. It should be observed that the paneling pattern on the Abydos model sarcophagus differs somewhat from the standard format used in full-scale royal sarcophagi of the Middle Kingdom which occur exclusively in the Twelfth Dynasty pyramid complexes at Dahshur, Lahun and Hawara. The paneled royal sarcophagi in the Memphite region employ an archaic palace-façade design which appears to copy directly the format of niches and buttresses on the Step Pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara. 9 This format includes raised panels in which a central gate or door recess is flanked by two pairs of niches. The raised gate-panels are separated usually by three narrower panels; each of these individual panels also contains a pair of niches. The ends of the paneled royal sarcophagi in several cases employ a design element of eight superimposed rows of rectan- gular holes that extend over the upper half of the panel-design (Fig. 5). 10 This distinctive design conspicuously mimics the exterior of the Djoser enclosure, possibly copied for symbolic reasons in Twelfth Dynasty palace-façade design.

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Fig. 5: Palace-façade paneling as employed on the sarcophagi of Senwosret III (Dahshur) and prin-

Fig. 5: Palace-façade paneling as employed on the sarcophagi of Senwosret III (Dahshur) and prin- cess Neferuptah (Hawara).

A Group of Miniature Royal Sarcophagi from South Abydos

Given the fragmentary state of the South Abydos model sarcophagi it is possible there are additional stylistic elements to the paneling. Nevertheless, it is clear the pattern of single recessed niches differs from the predominant pattern of double niches seen in the Memphite Middle Kingdom royal sarcophagi. The Abydos model fragments represent the only sarcopha- gus employing a fully carved palace-façade recovered from Upper Egypt. Therefore it appears

difficult to propose regional stylistic variation as a factor. Moreover, as a royal mortuary object,

it appears quite possible that the model sarcophagi were produced in a royal workshop in the

north and transported to Abydos as part of mortuary ceremonies - whether actual or sym- bolic- performed at the South Abydos complex of Senwosret III. Hence, one might suppose that the craftsmen responsible would have been predominantly influenced by the Memphite style of paneling on full-scale Twelfth Dynasty royal sarcophagi. If, however, the artisans who created the Abydos model sarcophagi had access to architectural prototypes other than the Step Pyramid, we may observe that there is a considerable range of variation in Early Dynastic palace-façade architecture, some versions of which employ niche patterns not dissimilar to those on the model sarcophagus. The Early Dynastic funerary enclosures at North Abydos all employ versions of a relatively simple pattern of three or four panels separated by recessed niches. Certainly at least one of these enclosures - that of Khasekhemwy - would have been standing and visible at the time of the Twelfth Dynasty and might have offered a potential pro- totype for Middle Kingdom artisans. It is conceivable that the paneling design on the Abydos model sarcophagus was intended to be more explicitly archaic and Osirian in its symbolic con- notations, thereby departing from the Djoser-inspired paneling on contemporary Memphite royal sarcophagi. Perhaps the most significant influence on the Abydos model sarcophagus is that since this is

a miniaturization, the artisans may have adapted the format of the paneling design for practi-

cal reasons. With an estimated length of 25-30 cm in the case of Model 1, 11 an exact copy of the paneling of a full-scale royal sarcophagus, such as that of Senwosret III at Dahshur, would result in recesses on the order of 2 mm. At such small size a true scale rendering of the paneled sarcophagus would have been impossible to carve. Abbreviation of the nichework of the palace-

façade was therefore a necessity. Interestingly, a degree of simplification of the palace-façade on

a full-scale sarcophagus of the late Twelfth Dynasty is to be observed on the very large (3.06

m) granite sarcophagus of princess Neferuptah from her pyramid south-east of Hawara, and also on the contemporary sarcophagus of Amenemhat III in his Hawara pyramid. 12 In these examples the raised gate panels alternate with single rather than the standard triple panels, each containing paired niches (Fig. 6). Although still employing the double internal niche, the for- mat of the Neferuptah sarcophagus is close to that of the Abydos model sarcophagus fragments. Simplification of the Neferuptah paneling to employ single internal niches rather than paired niches would result in the panel pattern of the Abydos model sarcophagus fragments. For that reason, I suggest that the paneling design evidenced at South Abydos is an adapta- tion for technical reasons of the standard paneling of Twelfth Dynasty royal sarcophagi. The raised panels are the equivalent of the gate panels while the narrower sunk panels follow the simplified format of intervening panels seen in the Neferuptah sarcophagus. Not surprisingly the paneling pattern at South Abydos shows similarities to the format used in some other small objects that employ a variant of this architectural design. In particular we may observe the pan- eled caskets from the Lahun tomb of Sithathoriunet which employ alternating recessed niches and ‘false door’ panels with nested rectangles akin to the system on the model sarcophagus. 13

The panel variant we see on the South Abydos model sarcophagus may thus be an abbreviated

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Wegner Fig. 6: A photographic reconstruction of the larger South Abydos model sarcophagus (Model 1). The

Fig. 6: A photographic reconstruction of the larger South Abydos model sarcophagus (Model 1). The udjat element is hypothetical, based on the parallel of full-scale sarcophagi.

version of the archaic palace-façade form, but perhaps not attempting a direct correspondence with any specific architectural prototype. Are the South Abydos model sarcophagi necessarily royal objects? It is true that adapta- tions of the architectural paneling occur in non-royal mortuary traditions during the Middle Kingdom. 14 During the Twelfth Dynasty we see the motif adapted particularly onto elite sar- cophagi. 15 Perhaps the best, complete example of this period is the limestone sarcophagus of the nomarch Ibu from Qaw el-Kebir. 16 Other examples occur in both Upper and Lower Egyptian private tombs. 17 While Dieter Arnold has argued that use of palace-façade paneling during the Middle Kingdom is a direct adaptation of an archaic style inspired by the Djoser Step Pyramid, Angela Schwab has noted the use of paneling design on private sarcophagi in both Upper and Lower Egypt and proposed a more widespread use of the motif. 18 In my view, discussion of architectural paneling on both royal and private sarcophagi must distinguish critically between two differing types: the true palace-façade style with a variant of raised gate panels and elabo- rate nichework which draws direct inspiration from archaic architectural forms, and the more generalized motif of door paneling (false-doors) used frequently on non-royal sarcophagi such as that of Ibu. This private version of paneling, while also imparting an architectural mode to the

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A Group of Miniature Royal Sarcophagi from South Abydos

sarcophagus is not truly a version of the palace-façade. With alternating raised and sunk panels and elaborate nichework, the South Abydos sarcophagus fragments clearly employ an adapta- tion of the archaic palace-façade. Consequently there is little doubt that our Model 1 at least represents a miniaturized version of a late Middle Kingdom royal sarcophagus. 19

Possible Functions of the South Abydos Model Sarcophagi

As we have seen above, the model sarcophagus fragments come from the lower end of the Senwosret III mortuary enclosure. They derive from a disturbed context. However, the concen- tration of so many pieces over a relatively small area suggests the sarcophagi are likely to have been broken up in that vicinity and have not migrated far. Where, however, was the original depositional context of the sarcophagi and what possible functions may be ascribed to them? Several possible explanations exist for the model sarcophagi each of which we will examine in turn. The principal possible explanations for these objects are the following:

1. These miniature sarcophagi may have functioned as architects’ or builders’ models and served as a guide for the cutting and decoration of full-scale sarcophagi.

2. The model royal sarcophagi may have been used in a ceremonial context: perhaps liked to rituals of presentation, or alternatively, in demarcating the sacred space of the mortu- ary enclosure in the form of foundation deposits.

3. The model sarcophagi belong to royal shabti burials associated with one of the tombs at South Abydos: the subterranean tomb of Senwosret III itself, or the adjacent Mastaba S9 or S10.

4. The sarcophagi may derive rather from extrasepulchral shabtis, not directly linked with the original tomb assemblage of the royal tombs but rather deposited for votive reasons, presumably by one or more royal dedicators in the vicinity of the Senwosret III mortu- ary enclosure.

Architects’ or Builders’ Models?

As we have seen above, one of the functions of the T-shaped tomb enclosure was as a demar- cated work-site for construction and outfitting of the subterranean tomb of Senwosret III. In its initial form, the enclosure took the configuration of a walled, but open-fronted work-area. Only later was its front closed and its formal, axial entrance added. These later changes appear to have transformed the enclosure from a royal construction site to a ceremonial enclosure used in mortuary rituals that marked the completion of the subterranean royal tomb. Are the sar- cophagus fragments vestiges of reference models used in completing full-scale sarcophagi inside the tomb enclosure during its initial phase as a construction area? Their survival in fragmentary condition inside the Lower Enclosure would in this case imply that the objects had been dis- carded and smashed prior to the extensive removal of the builders’ debris which was later buried as fill-material inside the core of subsidiary Mastabas S7 and S8. Numerous problems arise in explaining the miniature sarcophagi as architects’ or builders’ models. Significantly, the sarcophagi match neither the form, nor the material, of the king’s sar- cophagus inside the subterranean tomb of Senwosret III. Although employing standard format vaulted lids like those of the model sarcophagi, the red granite sarcophagus and canopic chest inside the tomb are smooth sided and unadorned. If this set of miniature sarcophagi served as builders’ models they are unlikely to be related to the sarcophagus of Senwosret III. The two subsidiary mastabas -S9 and S10 - on the north-east side of the enclosure also represent late

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Middle Kingdom royal burials (Fig.1). 20 S9 has a monolithic burial chamber roofed with cover- ing blocks, a smaller version of the Hawara-type of burial chamber. The relatively small size of the internal dimensions of the burial crypt (1.1 x 3.1 m), however, suggests it would have been equipped with a wooden coffin set inside of the stone burial chamber. The burial chamber of Mastaba S10 is destroyed. As a result, in neither case is there evidence for use of separate stone sarcophagi, with or without palace-façade paneling. 21 It is possible there exist additional, as-yet undiscovered satellite tombs associated with the tomb enclosure of Senwosret III. Two of the enigmatic structures associated with the enclosure are the ‘Dummy Mastabas’ (S7 and S8: Fig.1) whose superstructures contain the bulk of con- struction debris generated in the process of building the Senwosret III tomb. Weigall in 1902 examined the core of these two structures looking for chambers on the assumption that their interiors might - like Mastabas S9 and S10 - contain built chambers and access passages entered from the superstructure proper. 22 Recent work at South Abydos has shown that the superstruc- ture of one of the two dummy mastabas (S7), took that of the vaulted pr-nw shrine which is so closely linked with mortuary architecture and burial equipment. 23 What remains uncertain is whether these structures have some independent symbolic function, or whether they too are subsidiary tomb superstructures. It would perhaps be not be surprising if there were additional subsidiary royal tombs linked with the Senwosret III enclosure at South Abydos. The Dahshur pyramid complex has a series of satellite pyramids belonging to royal women. These typically have substructures entered via vertical shafts that are architecturally independent of the pyra- mids themselves. The burials of royal women at Dahshur employ variations on the paneled sarcophagus type. It remains quite plausible that the two ‘Dummy Mastabas’ at South Abydos are satellite royal tombs which - like the queens’ pyramids at Dahshur - may have associated, yet to be located interiors and presumably stone sarcophagi. Even if there exist additional royal tombs in and around the tomb enclosure at South Abydos it appears improbable the model sarcophagi served as builders models for these. As we have noted above, the paneling of Model 1 shows an adaptation, but not an exact scale version of the palace-façade used on full scale sarcophagi in the Memphite region during the late Middle Kingdom. The role of such a small, finely crafted miniature sarcophagus as a reference object in creating a full scale sarcophagus appears to be highly doubtful. The finely cut and beautifully smoothed paneling design appears more likely to be associated with an object whose primary functions were ritual or ceremonial as opposed to utilitarian. It is in this latter sphere that we may seek the functions of the South Abydos model sarcophagi.

Ritual Object Used in Sanctification or Mortuary Ceremonies?

If the model sarcophagus fragments are not builders’ models related to the initial con- struction phase of the Senwosret III tomb enclosure, could they perhaps relate rather to the second phase of ritual /ceremonial activity that appears to have occurred inside the Lower Enclosure? Although the bulk of these purposely removed buildings were buried inside the fill of Mastaba S7, the occurrence of the sarcophagus fragments in the front of the Lower Enclosure may associate them with one of the structures that once occupied that badly eroded area of the tomb enclosure. There also, we have recovered examples of the Dw-Inpw seal impressions which appear to have served in the sealing of these special purpose, short- lived buildings. In this case the function of the sarcophagi could relate to the ceremonial functions of those buildings, perhaps connected with royal mortuary rituals centered on the subterranean tomb.

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A Group of Miniature Royal Sarcophagi from South Abydos

In a 1994 brief communication, Nicholas Reeves published a miniature royal sarcophagus of the New Kingdom in the collection of the British Museum (EA 36279). Decorated with a recumbent figure of the king flanked by Nephthys and Isis (partially broken), the piece is iden- tifiable as a model sarcophagus dating to the Nineteenth or early Twentieth Dynasty. 24 Reeves proposed that this Ramesside model sarcophagus belongs to a wider category of ‘architectural models’ whose functions may rather be primarily ritual in nature. Reeves noted an earlier 1973 article in which Alexander Badawy had suggested that architectural models, particularly those of temples were used in a specific sanctification ritual, that of ‘Presenting the House to its Lord.’ 25 The Ramesside miniature sarcophagus suggests that such a role for architectural models may extend also to the architectural spaces of the royal tomb, burial chamber and sarcophagus. Such rituals could have included the symbolic sanctification and presentation of the tomb, and particularly the sarcophagus itself to its occupant: the deceased and mummified king. 26 In this guise, rituals of consecration of the sarcophagus may have been an integral stage in the wider suite of mortuary ceremonies that accompanied royal death, mummification and interment. The South Abydos model sarcophagi might potentially fit within such a ceremonial setting, particularly if their original context was the group of probable ritual buildings that once stood inside the lower part of the Senwosret III tomb enclosure. The two sarcophagi, Model 1 (ca. 25-30 cm) and Model 2 (ca. 16-18 cm) are both considerably larger than the Ramesside model sarcophagus which is a relatively diminutive object (only 5.4 cm in length). Moreover, whereas EA 36279 is a solid object (amulet-like as Reeves observes), the two South Abydos model sar- cophagi are miniaturized but ‘functional’ insofar as the lids are removable and suggest a wider ensemble of objects which together formed a symbolic adaptation of the elements of full-scale royal burial. Despite these differences, it appears possible that the South Abydos model sarcoph- agi might also have served as ritual objects in some form of presentation ceremonies. The high quality of carving which we have already observed would appear in line with objects crafted to serve in royal mortuary rituals. If this is the case, the objects presumably served a brief, ceremo- nial purpose inside the tomb enclosure whereafter they were deposited somewhere in the vicinity of the Lower Enclosure. Perhaps later on they were then disturbed and broken into fragments at the front end of the tomb enclosure. In discussing the potential role of these model sarcophagi in sanctification rituals we may note one other related possibility. Rather than an association with the direct ritualized presenta- tion of the tomb in the context of mortuary ceremonies, it might also be possible that these models were part of ritual foundation deposits either associated with the T-shaped enclosure itself, or in connection with the same group of short-lived ceremonial buildings which briefly populated the interior of the Lower Enclosure. Like many of the objects typically associated with foundation deposits, the current objects are miniatures. Models used in foundation ceremonies appear to have symbolized actual objects used in surveying, construction, and the dedication rites of buildings. Model tools such as hoes, and bricks symbolized the actual construction process; rites of consecration appear related to model vessels and actual food offerings. The ritual of ‘Presenting the House to its Lord’ we have discussed above is itself a final stage in the foundation process which, however, appears less frequently to have left a physical expression in actual foundation deposits. 27 Given the evident importance of rituals of consecration it appears a viable possibility that architectural models or miniaturized renditions of the royal sarcophagus could have functioned in a version of these dedication ceremonies at South Abydos. Direct cor- respondence with the format of the sarcophagus inside the tomb would be less relevant than the models’ evocation of a royal sarcophagus, as emphasized by the palace-façade.

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An intriguing, possibly parallel, case in which there occurs use of miniature objects in some form of ceremonial setting was documented in the excavation of the complex of Ahmose at South Abydos. Located just to the south of the Senwosret III tomb, the Terrace Temple of Ahmose is a still little-understood structure that occupies an elevated position on the base of the gebel overlooking the subterranean tomb or cenotaph of Ahmose. The platform of the Terrace Temple appears designed to have supported one or more structures which may never have been completed but perhaps had been temporary buildings, subsequently razed, as in the case of the Senwosret III enclosure. Associated with a group of brick chambers on the south side of the platform Charles Currelly excavated a series of foundation deposits containing ceramic and stone model vessels. Also uncovered were the remains of a series of carefully placed wood mod- els: boats (decayed, but identifiable), miniature paddles and sticks. 28 The nature of this assem- blage is obscure but suggests some form of consecration rites connected with the temple itself. Given the occurrence of model boats and oars, the structure may have supported mortuary-type ceremonies, perhaps linked with the subterranean tomb of Ahmose which is situated below the Terrace Temple on the low desert. 29 In view of these New Kingdom parallels, we may entertain the possibility that the model sar- cophagi are ritual objects that had served in ceremonies of sanctification inside the tomb enclo- sure. They could have served in a Twelfth Dynasty royal equivalent to the ritual of ‘Presenting the House to its Lord.’ Subsequently they may have been buried in a ritual deposit somewhere in the front area of the Lower Enclosure. Presumably it was only later that their interment was somehow disturbed and the sarcophagi damaged. Although this possibility is intriguing, in my view it represents a less likely function for these model sarcophagi. The proposed ritual func- tion accounts for the small size and fine quality of the objects. However, the fact that we have evidence for multiple model royal sarcophagi which are ‘functional’ miniaturized versions of full-scale sarcophagi suggests a stronger possibility may be that these represent a series of model sarcophagi belonging to royal mummiform figurines or shabtis. Here we turn to examine that explanation in more detail.

Royal Shabti Sarcophagi?

Despite the long history of research into the development of ancient Egyptian mummiform funerary figurines, there still exist questions regarding the early development of this type of mor- tuary object. Initially appearing during the First Intermediate Period and early Middle Kingdom in the form of wax and mud figurines, 30 the key elements of the shabti form proper coalesced during the Twelfth Dynasty in the Osirid, mummiform figurines inscribed with names and titles of the deceased. 31 Some of the earliest complete sets of shabti-type equipment derive from the burials of the royal women of Nebhepetre-Mentuhotep at Deir el-Bahri including those of queens Neferu, Kemsit, Kawit and the burial of Si-Iah. 32 Employing the early form of wax figurines in miniature wooden coffins, these objects testify to the use of this object type in the funerary assemblages of royalty of the beginning of the Middle Kingdom. Yet, subsequent to the Eleventh Dynasty the shabti form appears to have evolved primarily in the non-royal sphere. Shabtis can appear during the Middle Kingdom in relatively modest tombs such as those exca- vated by Garstang and Peet at Abydos. Nevertheless, the existing evidence indicates the shabti to be a relatively rare funerary object, associated primarily with the middle and higher economic strata of Egyptian society and typically limited to one or two examples per individual. 33 These were interred sometimes within the tomb, but also already in ‘extrasepulchral’ contexts - a dis- tinct practice we will address further below.

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A Group of Miniature Royal Sarcophagi from South Abydos

A notable feature of the existing data is that shabtis bearing the names of kings are not attested from the Middle Kingdom. The first datable royal shabti is that of Ahmose from the beginning of the Eighteenth Dynasty. This has given rise to the often-stated, but questionable conclusion that shabtis were not adapted into the mortuary repertoire of kings until ca. 1550 BCE. The Eighteenth Dynasty is often seen as a period of dynamic change wherein the formerly private funerary tradition of shabtis was now suddenly embraced by royalty. 34 This view has been sum- marized by John Taylor: ‘In the Eighteenth Dynasty, the production of fine shabtis resumed…One of the most significant innovations of the period was that shabtis began to be provided for kings.’ 35 Was, however, the use of shabtis so strictly delineated between private and royal funerary traditions prior to the start of the Eighteenth Dynasty? As occurs in the case of other funerary artifacts, there may exist a greater time depth to the evolution of these forms which are less clearly evidenced in the relatively less abundant archaeological record of the Middle Kingdom. 36 The conclusion that shabtis did not exist in the royal burial assemblages of the Middle Kingdom is a tenuous one for a variety of reasons. Although several intact royal tombs of the late Middle Kingdom - those of princess Neferuptah at Hawara, 37 and king Auibre-Hor at Dahshur 38 - are conspicuously devoid of shabtis, these tombs hardly constitute a representative sample of the wider patterns and variety in royal mortuary practices over the course of the Middle Kingdom. In view of the fact that virtually all royal tombs of the Twelfth Dynasty were severely plundered we must address a potential preservation-gap in the evidence. The statistically low likelihood of encountering preserved evidence for Middle Kingdom royal shabtis is emphasized by the scarcity of this object type in general for the Middle Kingdom as a whole. The fact that early forerunners to shabti-equipment in the form of wax-figurines was already present in royal funerary practices of the Eleventh Dynasty at Deir el-Bahri suggests that it is quite possible the scant evidence masks a lengthy period of use of shabtis in royal funerary traditions of the Middle Kingdom Although burial of shabtis individually - and apart from any associated model coffins or sarcophagi - certainly occurred during the Middle Kingdom, several examples demonstrate the emergence of the tradition of model coffins and sarcophagi which mimic the elements of full scale burial. This practice is illustrated well in the Deir el-Bahri royal examples where the figu- rines were wrapped in linen and buried in model wooden coffins with removable lids and min- iature versions of standard coffin decoration including painted inscriptions and eye-panels. The Twelfth Dynasty examples show some variation with use of shrine-shaped boxes for standing mummiform figurines. 39 This tendency for use of model coffins and sarcophagi is attested dur- ing the late Middle Kingdom and Second Intermediate Period, illustrated by examples such as the extrasepulchral shabti burials of Bener and Wahnoferhotep (Lisht, Thirteenth Dynasty), and Nemtyemweskhet (Abydos, Thirteenth Dynasty). The continuing use of coffinettes is shown in the painted limestone sarcophagus attributed to the lady Kamose (Thebes, Second Intermediate Period), complete with panel design and divine imagery of Nut, Isis and Nepthys. 40 The tradi- tion of model sarcophagi for shabtis expands significantly during the New Kingdom with many of the higher quality examples being provided with both anthropoid coffins and rectangular sarcophagi. 41 The two South Abydos model sarcophagi parallel these other examples through virtue of being functional, but miniaturized versions of full-scale sarcophagi. It is perhaps instructive to observe that the size of these is comparable to other examples of model sarcophagi used for shabtis and mummiform figurines. The largest group at Deir el-Bahri are the coffins of Queen Neferu ranging between 18-24 cm in length. 42 The Bener and Wahnoferhotep sarcophagi from Lisht are similarly scaled with Bener being 28 cm in length, Wahnoferhotep measuring 24 cm

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in length. The later Kamose limestone sarcophagus measures a comparable 26 cm. Therefore, on the basis of scale, functionality (as contrasted with the Ramesside model royal sarcophagus), as well as the phenomenon of miniaturization of attributes of full-scale sarcophagi we may conclude that it is highly likely these examples from South Abydos are shabti sarcophagi. With the use of the palace-façade explicitly documented for Model 1, these represent royal versions of model sarcophagi. Consequently, once they would have contained royal shabtis dating to the late Middle Kingdom. If we accept the identification of the South Abydos model sarcophagi as belonging to royal shabtis we then arrive again at the issue of their original context. On the basis of the parallels, two principal options present themselves:

(a) The shabtis originally belong to the burial assemblage of one of the royal tombs at South Abydos: possibly the subterranean tomb of Senwosret III itself, or one of the subsidiary burials such as Mastaba S9 or S10. (b) The shabtis may not be directly linked with a burial assemblage but rather may be a royal version of extrasepulchral shabtis.

The first explanation - that these model sarcophagi are the shattered remains of shabtis from a royal burial assemblage - would imply that their disturbed context is the product of the process of tomb robbery in and around the Senwosret III tomb enclosure. Significantly, the fragments were excavated at considerable distance both from the Senwosret III tomb (ca. 140 m. away), as well as from Mastabas S9 (ca. 75 m. away) and S10 (ca. 180 m. away). A likely scenario for tomb robbery would be the opening and stripping of the shabti figurines from their containers. The figurines themselves may have employed gold or other valuable materials. 43 Presumably the limestone model sarcophagi would have had no tangible economic value and would have been immediately destroyed or abandoned in situ. The considerable distance between the three tombs in question and the cluster of sarcophagus fragments at the front of the Lower Enclosure would appear to militate against their identification as part of royal tomb equipment. I would observe, however, that given the large-scale, and likely highly organized system through which these tombs must have been robbed, we might envision a process whereby shabtis still inside their model sarcophagi were first carried to the surface and then opened elsewhere, perhaps by those responsible for the robbery enterprise. Discard of the unwanted model sarcophagi might then occur quite far from the actual tomb. If, however, we view the movement of the model sarcophagi so far from their original location to be improbable, it would appear more likely that these objects relate to the second possible mode of shabti deposition: that of the extrasepulchral shabti burial.

Extrasepulchral Royal Shabti Burials?

The interment of shabtis or groups of shabtis in locations of particular religious importance is a practice that runs parallel to their more familiar employment as actual tomb equipment. The dedication of these ‘extrasepuchral’ shabtis is particularly well documented for the New Kingdom where specific locations appear to have attracted ongoing deposition of large concen- trations of both private and royal shabtis. Archaeological work has defined a number of areas of intensive extrasepulchral activity such as Giza South (Zawiyet Abu Mesallem) and the Serapeum in the Memphite necropolis, as well as Umm el-Ga’ab at Abydos, where extrasepulchral shabtis were buried in the area of Heqareshu Hill and adjacent to the Early Dynastic royal tombs. In

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A Group of Miniature Royal Sarcophagi from South Abydos

A Group of Miniature Royal Sarcophagi from South Abydos Fig. 7: The model sarcophagus and shabti

Fig. 7: The model sarcophagus and shabti burial of Nemtyemweskhet in situ beneath the chapel of Ay at North Abydos (photograph courtesy of Carolyn Routledge, World Museum, Liverpool).

such cases the presence of a symbolic tomb belonging to Osiris (Umm el-Ga’ab) or Sokar (the shetayet, or Sokar-tomb in Rosetau), may have attracted the deposition of extensive clusters of votive shabtis; I.E.S. Edwards has linked the phenomenon of extraspulchral shabtis with the Osirian associations of the shabti figurines themselves and the veneration of that deity. 44 Extrasepulchral shabtis appear particularly notable for certain royal officials who were capable of dedicating large shabti groups. These include prominent individuals such as Qenamun who dedicated large shabti groups at both Abydos and Zawiyet Abu Mesallem. 45 However, a quite wide array of officials and royal family members of the New Kingdom appear to have engaged in this particular tradition. Importantly, at least during the New Kingdom, kings were also active in the dedication of extrasepulchral shabtis, with a number of examples associated with the Osiris cult at Abydos. 46 While clearly a widespread ritual practice during the New Kingdom, the deposition of extrasepulchral shabtis was already a fully developed custom during the Middle Kingdom. Here we may turn to examine three of the best documented examples of extrasepulchral shabtis already mentioned above: the shabti of Nemtyemweskhet at North Abydos, and those of Bener and Wahnoferhotep at Lisht. These particular examples provide comparative evidence relevant to understanding the South Abydos model royal sarcophagi.

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Wegner Fig. 8: The limestone model sarcophagus of Nemtyemweskhet (Garstang Museum, University of Liverpool, object E.712.

Fig. 8: The limestone model sarcophagus of Nemtyemweskhet (Garstang Museum, University of Liverpool, object E.712. Photograph courtesy of Steven Snape).

The most significant example of a private extrasepulchral shabti from Abydos is the intact model sarcophagus, wooden coffinette, and shabti belonging to a high steward of the Thirteenth Dynasty, Nemtyemweskhet. John Garstang found this shabti in 1907 buried beneath the floor of a votive chapel in the cenotaph area of North Abydos (Fig. 7). This particular chapel con- tained two still in-situ stelae commemorating one extended family: that of Ay, son of Ibi, and his wife Ata. 47 The family’s origins appear to have lain in the Tjebite (10th) nome of Qaw el-Kebir. 48 The two stelae were set in opposite (north and south) niches in the interior walls of the chapel courtyard. Garstang discovered the intact model sarcophagus buried beneath the niche of the southern stela (Bolton 10.20.11). Two additional stelae - larger and higher in quality than the Garstang pair - had been previously recovered by Mariette (CCG 20087 and 20100). 49 The principal dedicatee of this latter stele pair is Amenemhatseneb Nemtyemweskhet (or simply Nemtyemweskhet). 50 Nemtyemweskhet was a man of considerable status who had the royal administrative title xtmty-bity, imy-r pr wr, 'royal sealbearer, high steward.' It was the shabti burial of this same Nemtyemweskhet which Garstang found in the Ay family chapel. Nemtyemweskhet might have been a member of this extended family, or -more likely-

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Fig. 9: The wooden coffinette of Nemtyemweskhet (World Museum, Liverpool, object 55.82.114. Photograph courtesy of

Fig. 9: The wooden coffinette of Nemtyemweskhet (World Museum, Liverpool, object 55.82.114. Photograph courtesy of Carolyn Routledge).

Wegner

Wegner Fig. 10: Reconstruction of the limestone shabti sarcophagus and wooden coffinette of Nemtyemweskhet. an

Fig. 10: Reconstruction of the limestone shabti sarcophagus and wooden coffinette of Nemtyemweskhet.

an administrative superior to Ay. Ay may have been responsible for installation of the two Nemtyemweskhet stelae and for interment of Nemtyemweskhet's shabti burial in the votive chapel zone at North Abydos. When Garstang discovered the shabti burial of Nemtyemweskhet it was intact. The set was composed of a limestone model sarcophagus with vaulted lid (together measuring 37.5 x 28.5 x 21 cm) 51 which contained a decorated wooden coffinette (box and lid together measur- ing 29.25 x 17.25 x 12.25 cm). 52 The limestone sarcophagus (Fig. 8) is plain, the sides of the box roughly-chiseled. The wooden coffin (Fig. 9) is painted with funerary texts employing the form of truncated hieroglyphs typical of funerary equipment during the Thirteenth Dynasty, and with an eye panel, representing the head-end of the coffin. Inside the wooden coffinette Garstang found a ‘gilded ushabti.’ Unfortunately, the shabti figurine itself vanished shortly after the time of excavation and appears not to have been drawn or photographed. It is unclear

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A Group of Miniature Royal Sarcophagi from South Abydos

whether the figurine was wrapped in linen, as occurs in the contemporaneous shabti burials of Wahnoferhotep and Bener at Lisht and the earlier Deir el-Bahri wax figurines. The Nemtyemeweskhet shabti burial provides the only approximately datable (early-middle Thirteenth Dynasty), late Middle Kingdom example of an extrasepulchral shabti which employs

a limestone model sarcophagus. The Nemtyemweskhet sarcophagus provides an interesting

comparison with the South Abydos fragments. Whereas the South Abydos fragments show

a very fine level of craftsmanship with delicately rendered decoration, the Nemtyemweskhet

sarcophagus is not only larger (37.5 cm versus ca. 25-30 cm estimated for our Model 1), but considerably rougher. Aside from its vaulted lid, the exterior faces of the Nemtyemweskhet box

are left in a rough-chiseled state. Despite the stylistic and qualitative differences we see here an articulated shabti burial which may parallel the original format of those at South Abydos. Use

of a limestone sarcophagus to house a smaller wooden coffinette and shabti figurine (Fig. 10) is

likely to have been the case also for the South Abydos examples, albeit in our case rendered in the mode of a royal, rather than private burial. Two other intact late Middle Kingdom shabti burials are those of Bener and Wahnoferhotep, which Albert Lythgoe excavated in 1909 and 1914 at the Lisht pyramid complex of Senwosret

I. 53 These were buried adjacent to the entrance to the pyramid temple of Senwosret I, in a man-

ner which indicates intentional interment. 54 Like that of Nemtyemwekhet at North Abydos, they

are thereby classified as extrasepulchral shabtis. Both employ a painted wooden coffinette similar

in size and with a nearly identical set of offering formulae to that of Nemtyemeweskhet. 55 Unlike

Nemtyemweskhet, neither Wahnoferhotep nor Bener has a stone sarcophagus, an additional element potentially attributable to the relatively high status and wealth of Nemtyemweskhet. 56 Importantly, the original disposition of these shabtis is well documented. The shabtis of both Bener (of calcite bearing the shabti spell), and Wahnoferhotep (of wood with gesso and gilding,

also with shabti spell), were wrapped in linen and buried on their left side with each figurine’s head positioned behind the double-eye panel of its model coffin. 57 These intact examples of Late Middle Kingdom shabti burials are instructive as they illus- trate the extent of the tradition of miniaturization of the wider suite of elements associated with full-scale human burial. This feature is witnessed already in the Eleventh Dynasty funerary figurines and coffins at Deir el-Bahri with their use of linen-wrappings and inscribed wooden coffins. This mode of shabti burial, of course, does not mean that all shabtis during the Middle Kingdom necessarily were equipped with individual sets of coffins and sarcophagi. Despite the fact that the overall number of shabtis for the Middle Kingdom is quite small, it appears certain that already during that time individual shabti figurines were being buried singly and without coffinettes in private tombs. 58 Nevertheless, the Osirian connotations of the shabti suggest that where financial resources permitted - as in the examples of Nemtyemweskhet, Bener and Wahnoferhotep - preference was for a fully-articulated, miniaturized rendition of the saH, the divinely treated body as prepared for journey to, and regeneration in, the netherworld. Use of model sarcophagi and coffinettes was especially relevant in extrasepulchral contexts where - without those elements - the shabti would effectively exist divorced from the architec- tural setting provided by the burial chamber and actual interment of the person with whom the shabti was linked. Evocation of a full Osirian burial liberated from the actual tomb thus became

a mechanism for associating the deceased with a wide range of sacred localities. In the case of

Nemtyemeweskhet, the burial of an extrasepulchral shabti within the votive chapel zone at North

Abydos is clearly a statement on his desired afterlife associations with Osiris-Khentiamentiu, his cult place and the complex of rituals celebrated at Abydos. In the case of Bener and

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Wahnoferhotep, however, we see confirmation of the fact that burial of extrasepulchral shabtis

in the Middle Kingdom could express a rich range of afterlife associations including connections

to royal mortuary cults and presumably the identity of individual kings. The South Abydos

model sarcophagi may represent a royal parallel to this dedication of extrasepulchral shabtis at

the site of a major royal mortuary cult: in this case that of Khakaure-Senwosret III. 59

Conclusions

Given the fragmentary condition of the South Abydos model sarcophagi, there exist a num-

ber of viable explanations for their original context and function. However, in view of the dispo-

sition of the fragments quite far from the three known royal tombs, it appears the most probable

explanation is that these represent the remains of a group of extrasepulchral royal shabti burials that were once deposited somewhere in the front part of the Senwosret III tomb enclosure. This enigmatic structure seems to have gone through a changing pattern of use during the construc- tion of the subterranean tomb, and appears to have subsequently housed ceremonial buildings. This same structure may then later on have become a focal point for votive activity. Although fragmentary, I would propose that these objects may represent part of a wider phenomenon of dedications by both royal and private people in the area of the Senwosret III tomb and at the base of the Dw-Inpw. Although it appears that the architecture of the tomb enclosure was razed and the location of the subterranean tomb was lost to view shortly after its closing, this would not have detracted from the sanctity of the place, particularly in connection with the ongoing mortuary cult of Senwosret III maintained by the community of Wah-Sut. These model sarcophagi with use of the palace-façade style may represent dedications of royal extrasepulchral shabtis akin to the later New Kingdom custom of burying royal shabtis in particularly sacrosanct areas. Use of the palace-façade style implies that they were commis- sioned and deposited during a timeframe when that particular style still represented an active element of royal mortuary traditions: presumably during the late Twelfth or earliest part of the Thirteenth Dynasy. The two subsidiary mastabas (S9 and S10) suggest an interest of certain royal and elite individuals during this same timeframe in linking themselves with the Senwosret

III tomb and mortuary cult at South Abydos. For other people who did not actually build a

tomb at South Abydos, an extrasepulchral shabti burial may have served as a mechanism for eternal association with Senwosret III. Although considerable work has already been conducted in and around the Senwosret III tomb enclosure, the surface has barely been scratched in the investigation of this expansive landscape. I would hypothesize that in future investigations - particularly in the large area of the Lower Enclosure - we may encounter a wider tradition of votive dedications of which extrasepulchral shabtis are one tangible expression. The continuing veneration of Senwosret III as part of the wider cultic fabric of Abydos may have served to attract this form of religious expression for kings and commoners alike during the late Middle

Kingdom, as did the nearby cult of Osiris himself.

Notes:

1 A. E. P. Weigall, ‘The Tomb and Cemetery of Senusret III,’ in Abydos, Part III (London, 1904), 11-20.

2 This work is conducted in association with the combined University of Pennsylvania-Yale-Institute of Fine Arts, New York University Expedition to Abydos, D. O’Connor and W. K. Simpson, general directors; and under the oversight of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities. Particular thanks are due to the SCA and Dr. Zahi Ha- wass for support of the research program at South Abydos.

3 For the current evidence on the architecture and building sequence of the tomb enclosure see in more detail: ‘Ap-

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A Group of Miniature Royal Sarcophagi from South Abydos

pendix 1: The Senwosret III Tomb Enclosure,’ in J. Wegner, The Mortuary Temple of Senwosret III at Abydos (New Haven and Philadelphia 2007), 365-381, especially Fig. 166.

4 See discussion in J. Wegner and M. Abu el-Yazid. ‘The Mountain-of-Anubis: Necropolis Seal of the Senwosret III Tomb at Abydos’ (2005), 399-415; J. Wegner, ‘Beneath the Mountain-of-Anubis: Ancient Egypt’s First Hidden Royal Tomb’ (2006), 15-22; J. Wegner, ‘From Elephant-Mountain to Anubis-Mountain? A Theory on the Origins and Development of the Name Abdju’ (2007), 459-476.

5 The field numbers of the objects are SA (South Abydos) 034655, 034696, 034735, 034745 A through L, and 034766 A-B, deriving from excavation Unit 132. In this article we discuss the best, identified pieces of the model sarcophagi. Several of the fragments with smooth worked surfaces do not provide substantive information on the form and size of the models and are not included here.

6 The fragments belonging to the lid of Model 2 (pieces numbered SA.034696 and 034735) have a slightly higher- curving vault than occurs in Model 1. Due to this higher vault, it has been considered possible that these fragments come from a model canopic chest rather than a sarcophagus. At the present time, however, this identification re- mains uncertain and we take it as a model sarcophagus lid of slightly smaller format, although we may also note that all of the box fragments with palace-façade paneling appear to be attributable to Model 1.

7 Compare the carving quality of the South Abydos model sarcophagus with the much rougher format of the lime- stone model sarcophagus of the Thirteenth Dynasty high steward Nemtyemweskhet from North Abydos (see Fig.

8).

8 For full-scale paneled royal sarcophagi of the late Twelfth Dynasty see particularly: D. Arnold, The Pyramid Complex of Senwosret III at Dahshur (New York, 2002), Pls. 104-119 (queen’s gallery sarcophagi); D. Arnold, Die Pyramiden- bezirk des Königs Amenemhet III. in Dahschur (Mainz, 1987).

9 Arnold, The Pyramid Complex of Senwosret III, 36-37.

10 Ibid, 23-24. Arnold suggests these holes represent a decorative adaptation of putlog-holes or the heads of supporting beams as it would originally have existed in mudbrick architecture. Most importantly the design element occurs in stone on the Djoser enclosure wall and was copied on the enclosure wall of the Senwosret III pyramid complex at Dahshur and on contemporary royal sarcophagi, including Senwosret III and Weret II (at Dahshur); and the sar- cophagus in Tomb 7 at Lahun. Other paneled royal sarcophagi lack this design element.

11 Model 2 would have been even smaller although we have no smaller box fragments making it uncertain whether that model employed a paneled sarcophagus box.

12 N. Farag and Z. Iskander, The Discovery of Neferuptah, (Cairo, 1971), 17-26 and Pls. 16a-b. This same simplifica- tion must exist also on the Hawara sarcophagus of Amenemhat III as shown by the plans of W. M. F. Petrie, Kahun, Gurob and Hawara, (London, 1890), Pl. 3. The earlier Dahshur sarcophagus of Amenemhat III employs the pattern of gates separated by triple panels, for which see: Arnold, Die Pyramidenbezirk des Königs Amenemhet III. in Dah- schur, 32-35 and Abb. 12.

13 H. E. Winlock, The Treasure of El Lahun, Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, 1934),12-22 and Pl. I; and R. Schiestl, ‘The Coffin from Tomb 1 at Byblos,’ Ägypten und Levante 17 (2007), 265-271.

14 See typology and discussion of G. Lapp, Typologie der Särge und Sargkammern von der 6. bis 13. Dynastie (Heidel- berg, 1993), 40 ff., and plates; and discussion of H. Willems, Chests of Life: A Study of the Typology and Conceptual Development of Middle Kingdom Standard Class Coffins (Leiden, 1988), on Middle Kingdom coffin decoration.

15 Use of paneling variants also occurs on 12th Dynasty mastabas at Lisht and Dahshur: D. Arnold, Middle Kingdom Tomb Architecture at Lisht (New Haven and London, 2008).

16 H. Steckeweh, Die Fürstengräber von Qâw (Leipzig,1936), Tafel 16.

17 A. Schwab, ‘Die Sarkophage des Mittleren Reiches’ (Ph.D. diss., University of Vienna, 1989). The current writer has not managed to locate a copy of this study.

18 See discussion of Arnold, The Pyramid Complex of Senwosret III, 36-37.

19 As we have noted above, since the smaller format Model 2 lid lacks identified box fragments the style of its sarcopha-

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gus box remains uncertain.

20 D. McCormack, ‘Borrowed Legacy: Royal Tombs S9 and S10 at South Abydos,’ Expedition 48:2 (2006), 23-26.

21 Although in the case of the Hawara pyramid of Amenemhat III the paneled quartzite sarcophagus was set within the monolithic burial chamber prior to lowering of the massive cover stones: Petrie, Kahun, Gurob and Hawara, 16-17 and Pls. 2-4.

22 Lack of evidence for built interiors resulted in their identification as purely ‘dummy’ buildings, Weigall viewed them as architectural decoys meant to draw would-be tomb-robbers away from the actual location of the subterranean tomb.

23 J. Wegner and M. Abu el-Yazid. ‘The Mountain-of-Anubis: Necropolis Seal of the Senwosret III Tomb at Abydos’ (2005), 399-415.

24 N. Reeves, ‘Observations on a Model Royal Sarcophagus in the British Museum,’ RdE 45 (1994), 201-205.

25 A. Badawy, ‘A Monumental Gateway for a Temple of King Sety I; An Ancient Model Restored,’ In Miscellanea Wilbouriana 1 (Brooklyn, 1972), 1-20.

26 Such a function could extend also to the late Middle Kingdom tomb model of a pyramid interior from the valley temple of the Dahshur complex of Amenemhat III: Arnold, Die Pyramidenbezirk des Königs Amenemhet III, 86-88; Taf. 35, 66.

27 James M. Weinstein, ‘Foundation Deposits in Ancient Egypt’ (Ph.D. diss., University of Pennsylvania 1973), 5 ff; and 425-426.

28 E. Ayrton, C. Currelly and A. Weigall, Abydos III (London, 1904), 32-34; Pls. 45-48 and 53 (plan).

29 S. Harvey, ‘The Cults of Ahmose at Abydos’ (Ph.D. diss., University of Pennsylvania,1998), 430-432.

30 H, Schneider, Shabtis: An Introduction to the History of Ancient Egyptian Funerary Statuettes (Leiden, 1977), 177- 182. These include Schneider’s Classes I-II, ‘funerary statuettes’ (‘Class I’ in human form, and ‘Class II,’ mummi- form).

31 Schneider, Shabtis, Class III, shabtis of the Middle Kingdom.

32 E. Naville, The XIth Dynasty Temple at Deir El-Bahari: Part I (London, 1907), Pls. 9, 11; J. Taylor, Death and the Afterlife in Ancient Egypt (2003), 117, Fig. 77 (Kawit); W. C. Hayes, The Scepter of Egypt: Part 1 (Cambridge MA, 1953), 326-329 (Si-Iah)

33 Schneider’s comprehensive catalog cites only nine examples of shabtis (Class III dateable to the Middle Kingdom):

Schneider, Shabtis, 182-184. Other sporadic examples occur, but do not significantly augment the corpus: for ex- ample: G. Janes, Shabtis: A Private View (Paris, 2002), 3-5.

34 See for instance, J. Baines and P. Lacovara, ‘Burial and the Dead in Ancient Egyptian Society: Respect, Formalism and Neglect,’ Journal of Social Archaeology (2002), 9-10.

35 Taylor, Death and the Afterlife, 119.

36 See for instance the discussion of S. Quirke, ‘Two Thirteenth Dynasty Heart Scarabs’ JEOL 37 (2001-2002), 31-40, where he discusses late Middle Kingdom examples of the heart scarab and comments on the evolving strategies for attaining eternal life through religious figural imagery during the late Middle Kingdom.

37 On the Neferuptah tomb: N. Farag and Z. Iskander, The Discovery of Neferuptah (Cairo, 1971).

38 J. De Morgan, Fouilles à Dahchour mars-juin 1894 (Vienna, 1895), 88-106; and 107-115 on the burial of princess Nubheptikhered.

39 As illustrated by the mummiform figurines of Senebtisi in shrine-shaped boxes, a precursor to the later shabti boxes of this form.

40 Schneider, Shabtis, 26 (catalog) and Plate 2. As Schneider mentions, the sarcophagus was sold on the antiquities market in Luxor containing the inscribed shabti of the lady Kamose. However, there is some doubt whether the model sarcophagus and shabti originally belonged together.

41 Examples in the Cairo Museum collection: P. Newberry, Funerary Statuettes and Model Sarcophagi ( Cairo,1957). See discussion of Taylor, Death and the Afterlife, 119 ff, with photographs of New Kingdom example of nested

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A Group of Miniature Royal Sarcophagi from South Abydos

anthropoid coffin and rectangular sarcophagus of Eighteenth Dynasty: Fig. 82.

42 Hayes, The Scepter of Egypt I, 326-330.

43 One can note here the unfortunate modern parallel of the 1907 disappearance of the gilded shabti of Nemtye- mewekhet at North Abydos, leaving only its model wooden coffin and limestone sarcophagus to the archaeologist, John Garstang!

44 I. E. S. Edwards, ‘The Shetayet of Rosetau,’ in L. Lesko (ed.), Egyptological Studies in Honor of Richard A. Parker (Hanover and London, 1986), 27-36.

45 F. Pumpenmeier, Eine Gunstgabe von seiten des Königs: Ein extrasepulkrales Shabtidepot Qen-Amuns in Abydos (Heidel- berg, 1998).

46 Extrasepulchral shabtis at Abydos include examples of Amenhotep II, as well as a fragmentary model coffin of Ramses I: J. and L. Aubert, Statuettes Égyptiennes: Chaouabtis, Ouchebtis (Paris, 1974), 33, 42ff. See discussion of Pumpenmeier, Eine Gunstgabe von seiten des Königs, 76-78; G. Dreyer, et.al., ‘Umm el-Qaab: Nachuntersuchungen im frühzeitlichen Königsfriedhof 7./8. Vorbericht,’ MDAIK 52 (1996), esp. 71 and Taf. 25; and general discussion of Taylor, Death and the Afterlife,133-135.

47 For further discussion of this stela group and connections with the town of Wah-Sut at South Abydos see: J. Wegner, ‘External Connections of the Community of Wah-Sut during the late Middle Kingdom,’ in Fs. for Edward Brovarski (Cairo, 2010).

48 These two are Bolton Museum 10.20/11, and Cairo JdE 39069: V. A. Donohue, The Egyptian Collection (Bolton, 1967), no. 25; W. Simpson, Terrace of the Great God at Abydos (New Haven and Philadelphia, 1974), 4, 18, 23 and Pl. 29. See also discussion of J. Bourriau, Pharaohs and Mortals (Cambridge, 1988), 65, and Fig. 50 (p. 54).

49 Simpson, The Terrace of the Great God at Abydos, 18 and Pl. 29. He numbers them as follows: CCG 20087 (ANOC 19.1); CCG 20100 (ANOC 19.2); el-Arabah E330 (ANOC 19.3); Bolton 10.20/11 (ANOC 19.4) and JdE 39069 (ANOC 19.5).

50 Stela CCG 20087 (ANOC 19.1); and CCG 20100 (ANOC19.2).

51 The limestone sarcophagus is now in the Garstang Museum (E.712), University of Liverpool. Thanks to Stephen Snape for kindly providing me with photograph and measurements of the piece, the details of which are otherwise unpublished.

52 The wooden model coffin is in the collection of the World Museum, Liverpool (formerly Liverpool Museum, 55.82.114). Thanks to Carolyn Routledge for providing me with photographs of the piece. For additional com- ments and photographs, see Bourriau, Pharaohs and Mortals, 93-94.

53 D. Arnold, The Pyramid of Senwosret I (New York, 1988), 34-39; Pls. 11-15.

54 Arnold Pyramid of Senwosret I, 34 and 37 demonstrates these were not discarded from robbed tombs in the vicinity as Lythgoe had speculated. Their burial on the north side of the Senwosret I causeway (in the north-gate/’cabin’ area between causeway and mastaba of Imhotep, see Arnold, Pyramid of Senwosret I. Pl. 80), suggests a purposeful place- ment near the entrance into the pyramid temple of Senwosret I.

55 See P. Dorman, ‘The Inscriptions of the Model Coffins of Wahnoferhotep and Bener’ (Appendix I), in Arnold, Pyramid of Senwosret I, 147-149. Dorman notes the consistency of the offering formulae with full-scale late Middle Kingdom coffins including Satsobek, Nubhetepikhered, king Hor (Dahshur); Hapyankhtyfy (Meir); Sebekaa (The- bes). See Dorman’s summary of the location of invocation of deities (p. 147), to which corpus we may also add the texts on the Nemtyemweskhet model coffin.

56 Nemtyemweskhet was royal seal bearer and high steward (xtmty-bity, imy-r pr wr), a central governmental office second only to that of vizier during the late Middle Kingdom. Wahnoferhotep was royal adherent (sA-nswt), and Bener was a hall-keeper of the palace (iry-at n aH), high status men but below the position occupied by Nemtyem- wekhet. If, however, sA-nswt is read literally as ‘king’s son,’ Wahnoferhotep was a royal prince of Dynasty 13, possibly a son of Neferhotep I (see Schneider, Shabtis, 183). Any significance to the use of a stone sarcophagus in the case of Nemtyemeweskhet would then appear less likely.

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Wegner

57 Imitating the disposition of full-scale human burials during the period. The shabtis of Bener and Wahnoferhotep at Lisht are also the earliest known to incorporate CT Spell 472, the shabti spell, on actual shabti figurines. The use of the shabti spell prior to these examples occurs only on Middle Kingdom coffins as part of the Coffin Texts: see discussion of Schneider, Shabtis, 46-49.

58 See the listed examples of Schneider, Shabtis, 178-184.

59 One might note here the overt royal role in the dedication of private extrasepulchral shabtis during the New King- dom. This is well illustrated in the shabti groups of Qenamun which employ the text-label di.w/iry.w m Hswt nt xr-nswt/ ‘made through favor of the king,’ see Pumpenmeier, Eine Gunstgabe von seiten des Königs, 47-48. Such an explicit royal role in extrasepulchral shabti production and dedication could apply also to the Middle Kingdom at locations like the Senwosret III complex.

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