Egyptian Canaanite Hedgehog-Type Steatite Scarab


A steatite Egyptian scarab with incised geometric pattern to the reverse.  The moulded obverse features a detailed clypeus and head, whilst the back and wings are covered in an incised cross-hatch pattern. The distinctive pattern mimics the spines of a hedgehod, hence the categorisation as ‘hedgehog-type’. The reverse features an incised coiled geometric knot pattern. The scarab is pierced longitudinally for suspension.

Date: Middle Kingdom - Second Intermediate Period
Period: Circa 2055 - 1550 BC
Provenance: Ex Sasson family coll., Jerusalem (since 1925).
Condition: Very fine condition. Small hairline crack to the obverse.


SKU: AH-1063 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 hedgehog, as a desert and marsh-dwelling animal, was held in high regard in ancient Egypt. An early fascination with the animals defensive abilities and the believed medicinal properties of its body parts made the hedgehog an admired mammal. There are depictions of wild hedgehogs and those sustained in captivity from wall paintings across Egypt. It was later believed that the animal was associated with re-birth, as it emerged from a period of hibernation.

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

Weight 4.39 g
Dimensions L 2.3 x W 1.6 cm



Reference: Reverse style: The Metropolitan Museum, New York, item 68.136.10