Egyptian Hyksos Period Steatite Scarab


A very fine ancient Egyptian steatite scarab from the Hyksos period, with incised features and hieroglyphs to the reverse. As is typical of Second Intermediate Scarabs, the obverse features a moulded head with a triangular clypeus and indentations to the body to mark the humeral callosities. The reverse is detailed with various hieroglyphs, including a large winged uraeus, facing left. To the left of the cobra is a large Ka sign and a rayed-sun disk.

The scarab has been pierced longitudinally for suspension.

Date: Circa 1750–1550 BC
Period: Hkysos Period, 17th - 15th Dynasty
Provenance: Ex major S.M., London, Collection 1970-2010.
Condition: Very fine condition.


SKU: AH-1043 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 3.22 g
Dimensions L 1.9 x W 1.3 cm



Reference: For a similar item, The Metropolitan Museum, item number 56.152.1

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