The mixing of cultures throughout the Mediterranean, especially in coastal cities and towns, is evident throughout Sicily. Record of such are these “ushabti” housed in the G. Whitaker Museum on Mozia near Marsala. Ushabti are funerary figurines that were common in Ancient Egypt. Buried with the dead, they represent servants or serfs for the deceased who are ready to perform manual labor and other tasks on behalf of the deceased in the afterlife. These pictured, which were unearthed from Mozia’s necropolis, are dated to be from between the 7th and 6th centuries, B.C., the Phoenician period. Hundreds of ushabti have been found in necropolises throughout Sicily.
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Man, I’m taking some ushabti with me – the next time I have to go to the hospital!!! Surprised you, didn’t I? Well, I want someone to wait on me hand and foot and nurses just won’t do that – they claim they’re busy. Ha! About the ushabti, though, how in the world did they get to Sicily? Wow.
I know, Dana! The Egyptians and their customs and religion spread throughout the Mediterranean. The Phoenicians were traders and these ancient cultures were much more tolerant of many gods and different beliefs. They thought (and the ancient Romans did too), the more the merrier… Like you say, you’ll try anything that might help! Well, that was the culture in ancient Sicily too. It was an ancient melting pot.