Dimensions: 0.750" (1.9cm) wide
Collection: Egyptian antiquities
Style: Second Intermediate Period
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.
A single, large male figure, to the right, fills the field on the scarab’s flat bottom. He is depicted wearing a pleated kilt and a striated wig. One arm is held along the side of his body while the other is bent at the elbow and raised in the air with its hand holding a conically-shaped object. The field above this object contains a sign in the form of a Figure-8, whereas a large nefer-sign occupies the space in front of the figure’s legs.