Egyptian Black Obsidian Scarab with Floral Designs


An Egyptian black obsidian scarab with incised markings to the front, adding detailing to the clypeus and head, whilst the thorax and elytra remain unmarked. The reverse displays a floral motif comprising of a tall flower and sprouting foliage to the sides. The scarab has been pierced longitudinally for suspension.

Date: Circa 1550 - 332 BC
Period: New Kingdom - Late Period
Condition: Very fine condition.

In stock

SKU: AH-942 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.

Obsidian was first used from the Early Dynastic period for amulets and continued to be used for scarabs and amulets. There was no source in Egypt, with the most likely source being Ethiopia and in later times, the Aegean. In Late Period burials it was a stone frequently used for the ‘two fingers’ amulet which was placed on the mummy at the point of incision, from where the deceased’s organs were removed. The use of obsidian would suggest that it symbolised regeneration.

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

Weight 1.92 g
Dimensions L 1.6 x W 1.1 cm



Reference: For similar iconography: Liverpool World Museum, UK, item 49.47.470

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