Egyptian Steatite Hyksos Scarab with Figure of a Man
A large steatite Egyptian scarab with incised features such as the clypeus, prothorax and elytra marked by single lines. Further anatomical elements have been added to the front of the scarab with the use of incised swirls to the elytra and a cross hatch to the thorax. Decorated to the reverse it has been inscribed with the figure of a man wearing toga-like clothing. Panels on either side of the figure are decorated with geometric loop patterns and stylised ‘nfr’ signs. The amulet has been pierced longitudinally for suspension.
Date: Circa 1786 – 1650 BC Period: Second Intermediate Period, Hyksos Period, Dynasty 15-17 Provenance: Ex private London based collection, AH, formerly in English family collections acquired from the 1920s - 1990s. Condition: Very fine.
This particular scarab is typical of those designed by Canaanite craftsman during the Hyksos period. The term ‘Hyksos’ can be traced back to the Egyptian expression ‘heka khasewet’, which means, “rulers of foreign lands”. The Hyksos of the fifteenth Dynasty of Egypt, ruling during the Second Intermediate Period, were thus of non-Egyptian origin. The Hyksos Kingdom was centred in the eastern Nile Delta and Middle Egypt. It was limited in size, never extending south into Upper Egypt, and it had Memphis as its capital. The figures depicted appear wearing either a short kilt or a toga, representing the way Asiatic chieftains were depicted in Egyptian art.
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