Egyptian Steatite Hedgehog-Type Scarab


A steatite Egyptian scarab with incised geometric decoration to the reverse. The moulded obverse features a stylised clypeus and head, whilst an insiced cross-hatch pattern covers the rest of the scarab. The distinctive pattern mimics the spines of a hedgehog, hence the categorisation as ‘hedgehog-type’. To the reverse is a stylised floral scroll pattern.

The scarab has been pierced longitudinally for suspension.

Date: Circa 2055 – 1650 BC
Period: Middle Kingdom
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.


SKU: AH-1146 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 hedgehog, as a desert and marsh-dwelling animal, was held in high regard in ancient Egypt. An early fascination with the animals defensive abilities and the believed medicinal properties of its body parts made the hedgehog an admired mammal. There are depictions of wild hedgehogs and those sustained in captivity from wall paintings across Egypt. It was later believed that the animal was associated with re-birth, as it emerged from a period of hibernation.

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

Weight 2.09 g
Dimensions L 1.8 x W 1.2 cm



Reference: For similar: The Metropolitan Museum, New York, item 26.7.633