Egyptian Small Steatite Scarab


A small Egyptian, steatite scarab with detailed obverse considering its size. Attention has been paid to the detailed clypeus and head, whilst single inscribed lines have been used to depict the prothorax and elytra. To the reverse are three clear hieroglyphs; a Ra sun disk,  a ‘hes’ libation vessel in the centre and a smaller, flaring hieroglyph. Described as a papyrus mat, and transliterated as ‘sȝ’, or ‘sa’, it is a logogram that means ‘protection’.

The scarab has been pierced longitudinally for suspension. Please note the small dimensions of this scarab.

Date: Circa 664-332 BC
Period: Late 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. Small chip to the back left wing.

In stock

SKU: AH-1149 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 signs depicted loosely ask for the protection of Ra. The ‘hes’ water jar translates as ‘praise’ and the ‘sa’ mat would equate to ‘protection’. The sign formula is basic but all of the hieroglyphs were held in high regard for their apotropaic values.

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

Weight 0.38 g
Dimensions L 0.8 x W 0.6 cm



Reference: For similar: The British Museum, London, item EA66440