Egyptian Nubian Steatite Scarab


A Late period Egyptian scarab made from steatite and decorated to the reverse. The obverse of the scarab features an incised linear pattern to the body, whilst moulded detail has been used for the head and clypeus. Further incised decoration denotes the elytra and wing markings. The reverse features an incised decorative hunting scene, with a crouching male to the left, holding a bow. A horned animal, possibly an ibex, stands off-centre. Floral decoration is interspersed amongst the figures, acting as filler decoration. The amulet is pierced longitudinally for suspension.

Date: Circa 1550 - 1070 BC
Period: New Kingdom
Provenance: Ex major S.M., London, Collection 1970-2010.
Condition: Fine. Evidence of glaze still remaining.


SKU: AH-1053 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.

Hunting scenes were a common motif of scarabs, with a range of animals depicted as prey, from horned deer, ferocious lions and rare ostriches. Due to the styling of the scarab, both on the obverse and reverse, we have suggested a Nubian origin.

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

Weight 1.78 g
Dimensions L 1.5 x W 1.1 cm



Reference: For similar obverse: The British Museum, London, item EA51368