Canaanite Scarab - LO.1126
Dimensions: 0.750" (1.9cm) wide
Style: Middle Bronze Age IIB
The ancient Egyptians maintained that the sun was propelled across the heavens by means of a scarab, or sacred beetle. With the passing of time, the Egyptians created a series of amulets in the form of this beetle in a great variety of materials, and these were routinely provided with inscriptions in hieroglyphs conveniently accommodated to their stylized flat bottoms. So popular was the scarab that it became the one amulet associated with Egypt by all of her neighbors, and local variations were created in imitation of the Egyptian model.
Our scarab is just such a variation. Its head and clypeus are designed as a single triangular form ending in a pincer-like shape. A pair of triangular-shaped notches serves to distinguish the thorax from the elytra, or wing case.The design elements on the bottom of our scarab are stylized and abstracted in their design. The principal figure appears to be a quadruped, facing right, with its hindquarters emphasized by linear ornamentation and its long tail raised high in the air. The figure may thus be identified as a baboon, although the possibility that a sphinx is intended cannot be overlooked. The linear network of ornament around the figure appears to be decorative, although the single element beneath the tail may have been intended to represent a nefer-sign.