Ushabti of the divine adoratrice Karomama (22nd dynasty; c. 840 BC)

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The small temple built on the North side of the Ramesseum, “the temple of a million years” of Ramses II (c. 1279-1212 BC) on the left bank of the Nile at Luxor, has been the object of detailed excavations since 2010. Headed by Benoit Lurson, this excavation is a project of the Egyptological Institute of the University of Leipzig, in association with the National Center for Scientific Research (https://www.gko.uni-leipzig.de/aegyptologisches-institut/forschung/projekte/theben-west.html). The temple, which had been erected by Ramses in honour of his mother, Queen Tuya, was transformed into a necropolis during the Third Intermediate Period  (c. 1075-652 BC).

 

 

During the 2014 digging season, the shaft tomb of the divine adoratrice Karomama (22nd Dynasty; c. 840 BC), well known for her bronze statue displayed in the Louvre Museum (http://www.louvre.fr/oeuvre-notices/statue-de-la-divine-adoratrice-d-amon-karomama), was discovered in the northern sanctuary of the temple. Around one hundred fragments of ushabtis, the funerary statuettes so characteristic of Ancient Egypt, were discovered. During the 2015 digging season, with the continuation of the excavation of the tomb, an equal number of fragments were found, which enabled the team to reconstruct several of these ushabtis.

 

Here follows a detailed presentation of one of these, as thanks for the support of the Association Kheper, which financially contributed to the 2015 digging season.

 

 

Nicolas Gauthier,
(translation Chris Harvey).

This object, made of faience, is striking not only because of its size, 14.8 cms high and 4.6 cms broad, but also because of the quality of the fabrication, even if the glazing has slightly faded. Aspects such as the arms crossed over the chest, the hoe in relief and outlined in black in each hand carefully moulded, both of these underline the care that has been taken in their realisation. We should note also the uraeus on the forehead of the divine adoratrice. The artefact has been broken into three pieces, as was done systematically, also noted for the other ushabtis, which is probably to be put in relation with a secondary burial.

The inscription is worthy of note: “The Osiris, divine adoratrice of Amon, the lord (sic) of the crowns, Karo(m)a(m)a, beloved of Mout”. Indeed, the title “lord (sic) of the crowns” is only found on the ushabtis which have the tripartite wig, but, more importantly, it has not yet been attested for the ushabtis of Karomama kept in the public collections, for example in the Brooklyn Museum (https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/opencollection/objects/3986/Mummiform_Ushabti_of_Queen_Keromama?referring-q=Keromama). It is found, however, on other objects in the name of the divine adoratrice.

Nicolas Gauthier,
(translation Chris Harvey).