Ancient Egyptian Steatite Scarab with Three Uraei

$155.49

A steatite Egyptian scarab beetle amulet with naturalistic incised features such as clypeus, prothorax and elytra marked by single lines. The reverse is detailed with three large rearing cobras, uraei, sitting on a ‘neb’ basket sign. The amulet is pierced longitudinally for suspension.

Date: Circa 1550 - 1070 BC
Period: New Kingdom Period
Provenance: From a Private Dorset collection, 1980s-1990s.
Condition: Fine condition. The hieroglyphs are clear and visible. Some damage to the obverse.

SOLD

SKU: SK-138 Category: Tags: , ,

The scarab beetle was an exceedingly popular symbol in the art of ancient Egypt, thought to represent the sun god, Ra. The ancient Egyptians believed that the scarab beetle rolling its ball of dung across the desert mirrored the journey of the sun across the sky from day to night. As the beetle laid its eggs within the dung, it became a symbol of rebirth and regeneration.

The cobra and the Ureaus were associated with the goddess, Wadjet – the protective deity of Lower Egypt. A powerful figure, Wadjet accounted for one half of the euphemistic ‘Two Ladies’ title of the Pharaoh (the other half being the vulture goddess Nekhbet), and accordingly acted as a symbol for divine rule, sovereignty, and absolute authority. As party of the pharaohs royal titular, the ‘Two Ladies’ title was represented with the uruaeus or vulture hieroglyph standing on a basket sign, a ‘neb’ hieroglyph. The uraeai inscribed upon this scarab could be calling on the goddess’ protection, as patron of Lower Egypt.

To find out more about Ancient Egyptian amulets please see our relevant blog post: Egyptian Amulets and their Meanings.

Weight 2.31 g
Dimensions L 1.7 x W 1.3 x H 0.8 cm
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Reference: For a scarab with the same inscription, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, item 04.2.333

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