Egyptian Gold-Mounted Steatite Hyksos Period Scarab


A large ancient Egyptian steatite scarab from the Second Intermediate Period, with incised motif to the reverse. The obverse depicts a stylised head and clypeus, and slight indentations for the humeral callosities. There are a multitude of incised hieroglyphs to the reverse; including, uraei, double crowns of Egypt and ankh signs. Typical amalgamation of signs commonly used by the Hyksos. The scarab is set in a gold frame, set around the edge of the seal.

The scarab has been pierced longitudinally for suspension.

Date: Circa 1650–1550 BC
Period: Second Intermediate Period
Provenance: Ex private UK collection, Mr. DP, formerly acquired from a London dealership, BL, from 2004-2012.
Condition: Very fine condition to the obverse and reverse. Gold still in good condition around the whole of the scarab.


SKU: AH-1148 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 term ‘Hyksos’ can be traced back to the Egyptian expression ‘heka khasewet’, which means, “rulers of foreign lands”. The Hyksos of the fifteenth Dynasty of Egypt, ruling during the Second Intermediate Period, were thus of non-Egyptian origin. They were probably Canaanite, and one tends to find the names of rulers on their scarabs. The Hyksos Kingdom was centred in the eastern Nile Delta and Middle Egypt. It was limited in size, never extending south into Upper Egypt, and it had Memphis as its capital. The Deshret crown of Lower Egypt frequently occurs on Hyksos scarabs to denote their conquered region.

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

Weight 3.84 g
Dimensions L 2.2 x W 1.5 cm



Reference: For similar: The Metropolitan Museum, New York, item 34.126.23