Most interesting finds from Pabes' tomb


Set of shabtis

The underground tomb-chambers of Pabes had clearly been plundered in antiquity. Still, the remains of a set of blue faience shabtis could be recovered from the substructure or the desert surface surrounding the shaft's aperture. Several of these were broken but could be rejoined by the expedition. They show that Pabes possessed at least twelve shabtis of three different types. Eleven shabtis show him as a mummy; seven bear an inscription for ‘the scribe of the treasury Pabes', whereas the other four give his title as ‘troop commander'. The twelfth figurine depicts Pabes in the dress of daily life, while clasping a ba bird to his chest. Such a number of shabtis is not unusual in the Ramesside period. Later the number gradually rose to include 400 figurines from the Third Intermediate Period onwards. These symbolized the days of the year, with an overseer for each group of ten.


Canopic jars, from the tomb of PabesCanopic jar

Probably these two fragments belonged to a canopic jar of Pabes. This is suggested by the occurrence of the title ‘true scribe of the Lord of the Two Lands' on the upper fragment. The same title can be read on the walls of Pabes's tomb-chapel, and one of the sherds was found in his tomb-chambers. It is remarkable that the jar in question was made in two parts, since the bottom fragment shows a straight upper edge. This sheds some light on the relative poverty of the burial. The interior walls of the fragments are coated with a black crust of resinous material, as one would expect for a vessel which contained the embalmed intestines of the deceased. The exterior is painted in black with a stylized lotus frieze and a scene of the deceased adoring the god Osiris. No trace has been found of the other three jars forming a set.