Egyptian Hyksos Scaraboid of a Pharaoh Wearing the Khepresh Crown
A steatite Egyptian Hyksos-period scaraboid, moulded on the obverse with the depiction of a pharaoh, wearing the Khepresh crown. Particular attention has been paid to the anatomical features of the face, with almond-shaped eyes, elongated eyebrows and a full mouth. Upon his brow he is depicted wearing the Khepresh crown, distinguishable from the incised cross hatched pattern and indentations to the side of the crown. The reverse is also decorated with a detailed scene portraying a hunt. A standing figure holding a long, curved bow, aims his protruding arrow into a collection of wild animals. A central feline-esque animal is depicted after the standing figure. Some scarabs with similar scenes also feature another figure to the adjacent side, however it is unclear whether this scarab depicts another man or an animal. The scaraboid is pierced longitudinally for suspension.
Circa 1550-900 BC Period:
New Kingdom - Third Intermediate PeriodProvenance:
Ex major S.M., London, Collection 1970-2010.Condition:
Very fine, clearly defined hieroglyphs and facial features. Chip to the reverse at the base. Repairs to the face.
The portrayal of the pharaoh wearing the blue ‘khepresh’ crown was one that gained popularity during the New Kingdom. It had powerful connotations to rebirth and solar imagery. The term ‘khepresh’ also phonetically alluded to the solar deity, Khepri, who was often represented as a scarab-faced man. It was also believed that the ruler wearing the Khepresh crown was the god’s representative on Earth, a living king and the representative of Amun-Re.
Hunting and battle scenes were common on scarabs from the end of the Ramesside Period to the early Third Intermediate Period, from the end of the 10thcentury BC. From their popularity and distribution across North Egypt and the Levant, they were most likely mass-produced. This example is unique in the added janiform depiction.
To find out more about Ancient Egyptian amulets please see our relevant blog post: Egyptian Amulets and their Meanings.