The Griffith Institute
Tutankhamun: Anatomy of an Excavation
The Howard Carter Archives
Photographs by Harry Burton
Previous card Object page Main list Next card
Carter No.: 259

Handlist description: Niche containing wooden shawabti-like figure

Card/Transcription No.: 259

No. 259.

A NICHE cut in the w. corner of the north wall, facing beyond (left) the head end of the sarcophagus, 130 cents. above the floor of the Burial-chamber.

THE NICHE takes the form of a roughly cut shallow recess of rectangular shape, 24 cents. high, 18 cents, wide, and 10 cents. deep. It was closed by the means of two irregular splinters of limestone, which were plastered over flush with the surface of the wall and then painted over to match the colour decoration of the wall.

IT CONTAINED a small wooden shawabti-like figure stood upon a brick (pedestal) of unbaked clay, and faced south. The figure was partially swathed with strips of fine linen - the head and face left uncovered.

THE WOODEN SHAWABTI-LIKE FIGURE, 13.3 cents, high (=7 digits approx.), takes the form of a mummy, having the winding sheet painted white, the head-dress black, the face and hands tinted lemon yellow, and the features delineated in black.

THE BRICK (pedestal), 9.5 cents. long, 4.5 cents. wide, and 1.8 cents. thick (= 5 x 2 x 1 digits), has graven upon its upper surface, in front of the figure, the following incantation in hieroglyphic characters:


The brick (pedestal) has minute globules of a resinous material exuding from its clay, and it has traces of red paint on its under surface.

The rubric included in Ch. CLI of the Book of the Dead refering to this figure and its brick reads:

"This formula is to be spoken over a brick of unbaked clay, on which this formula has been graven, and a hole made for it in the wall of the nether chamber; and a figure of im-wood seven fingers in height, whose mouth has been opened, is fastened on this brick in the northern wall, its face towards the south, and it is covered up."

Card no. 259 relating to Carter no. 259
© Copyright Griffith Institute, 2000-2004
None of this material may be reproduced in any form without permission from
Griffith Institute, Oxford, OX1 2LG
Contact us
Tutankhamun: Anatomy of an Excavation
Concept & Direction: Jaromir Malek
Web Page & Database Designs: Jonathan Moffett
Scanning & transcript: Sue Hutchison, Elizabeth Miles, Diana Magee, Kent Rawlinson