Ancient Egyptian shabtis have been described as mass-produced, mould-made objects. We analyse the morphology and elemental composition of three sets of seven shabtis using 3D scanning, X-ray fluorescence spectrometry and principal component analysis clustering. The morphology and elemental composition of the shabtis allow us to conclude that these object types were made with different degrees of morphological and compositional standardisation indicating different manufacturing methods. We suggest that mass-production is an oversimplified label to describe shabti manufacturing as our findings demonstrate evidence of batch-processing methods.
- 3D scanning
- XRF spectrometry