Egyptian Glazed Faience Scarab Dedicated to Ramesses IV


A turquoise-glazed faience Egyptian scarab beetle amulet with incised hieroglyphs to the reverse. The obverse features a naturalistic representation of a scarab, with inscribed lines depicting the prothorax and elytra of the beetle. The reverse is detailed with various hieroglyphs including the seated figure of the goddess Ma’at to the centre, two sun-disks at each end and the head of canine animal.

The figure of Ma’at, goddess of truth and justice, is clearly distinguishable by the ostrich feather upon her head and the ankh she holds in her clasped hands. The hieroglyph of Ma’at can represent the goddess but equally, the qualities she represents, such as justice or truth. The glyph to the figure’s right represents the head of a canine animal and is known as the ‘wsr’ sign. It translates as powerful. The combination of hieroglyphs included indicate that the scarab is dedicted to Ramses II, who’s Throne Name is indicated.

Transliterated the hieroglyphs read:

wsr-mꜢꜤt-rꜤ stp-n-[‘I]mn

Adding the vowels, they read:

User-maat-ra sotep-n-[A]mun

Translating as:

The justice of Ra is powerful, chosen by Amun.

The scarab is pierced longitudinally for suspension, although the hole is quite small.

Date: Circa 1153–1147 BC
Period: New Kingdom Period, Dynasty 20
Provenance: Ex major S.M., London, Collection 1970-2010.
Condition: Excellent. With very fine and clearly defined hieroglyphs. Old chip to the obverse of the scarab.


SKU: AH-1022 Category: Tags: , ,

The throne name Usermaatre was one used by Ramesses IV, as well as his father (Ramesses III) and his illustrious ancestor, Ramesses II. He was the third pharaoh of the 20th Dynasty, ruling for 6 short years from 1155 – 1149 BC. He was the fifth son of Ramesses III, his four brothers having predeceased their father. He attempted to carry on the monumental building program developed by Ramesses the Great. Part of this program included extending the Temple of Khonsu at Karnak. Ramesses IV changed his throne name early on in his reign from Usermaatre to Heqamaatre, which translates as ‘True Ruler’ or ‘Ruler in Truth’, perhaps in an attempt to distinguish himself from his father and the Great Ancestor.

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

Weight 0.97 g
Dimensions L 1.3 x W 0.9 cm


Egyptian Pharaohs

Egyptian Mythology

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Reference: For similar hieroglyphs: The Metropolitan Museum, New York, item 22.1.428