An Egyptian Limestone Ushabti of Mery-re, First Priest of Nemti , 18th Dynasty, period of Tutankhamun/Horemhab, 1332-1292 B.C.
An Egyptian Limestone Ushabti of Mery-re, First Priest of Nemti
E.A. Hierling, 1906
Sotheby's, New York, February 8th-9th, 1985, no. 20, illus.
Antiquarium, Ltd., New York, 1991
on loan to The Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, New York, 1993-2010 (inv. no. TL1993.48)
Sotheby's, New York, March 1st-2nd, 1984, no. 155, illus.
The present ushabti provides significant evidence for the continuation of the cult of the god Nemti, of which Mery-re was a priest, between the first mention of his name in the Old Kingdom, and the Late Period, when his worship becomes much more widespread. Nemti was worshipped in the 10th and 12th nomes of Upper Egypt, in the region of Asyut (see W. Barta, "Nemti," in Lexikon der Ägyptologie, vol. 4, 1980, p. 453, and E. Graefe, Studien zu den Göttern und Kulten im 12. und 10. Oberägyptischen Gau (insbesondere in der Spät-und Griechisch-römischen Zeit), Freiburg, 1980).
It is possible that the Mery-re for whom this ushabti was made was the same Mery-re who served as High Priest of the Aten under Akhenaten; two other ushabtis, both in the Metropolitan Museum, have been attributed to the same man (see J.-F. and L. Aubert, Statuettes égyptiennes. Chaouabtis, ouchebtis., Paris, 1974, pp. 56-57).
This ushabti can be dated to the late 18th Dynasty based not only on its facial details, which are characteristic of those of the post-Amarna period, but also on the way it carries its seed sack slung over the shoulder, a feature which is first securely attested only on ushabtis dating to the reign of Tutankhamun.