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 scarab was one of the most popular ancient Egyptian amulets. They were used as pieces of jewellery, commemorative items and seals, and magical amulets offering protection and good fortune.
Due to the nature of the anatomy and the style of decorative motif, it is most likely this was a Phoenician product and possibly hand-carved rather than mould-made. The suggested dates make it a product of the Orientalising Period. The term refers to the spread of Egyptian and Near Eastern ideas to Greece and the surrounding area.
To find out more about Ancient Egyptian amulets please see our relevant blog post: Egyptian Amulets and their Meanings.