Egyptian Steatite Janiform Scaraboid Dedicated to Amun


A steatite janiform Egyptian scaraboid amulet decorated in relief to one side and with a hieroglyphic scene to the reverse. The obverse of the amulet features two carved crocodiles, depicted top-to-tail, in deep relief. Incised lines have been used to portray the reptilian skin of the animal along it’s body and tapering tail. The reverse is detailed with solar imagery. Within the centre of the scene is a triangular obelisk, with two flanking figures. Portrayed as a Baboon, wearing a crescent moon upon his head, the scarab depicts the god Thoth prostrating before the obelisk. A simplified barque hieroglyph has been placed to the top of the scene. 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: Excellent. with clear carvings and hieroglyphs.


SKU: AH-1032 Category: Tags: , , , ,

This particular amulet is dedicated to various deities; Sobek as a crocodile, Thoth as a baboon and Amun via the obelisk and barque. The particular gods depicted and invoked show the emphasis on solar power and its apotropaic values.

Sobek was an established god of the Egyptian Pantheon. Within Egyptian mythology he was represented as a crocodile, or a crocodile-headed man. He was associated with Pharaonic power, fertility, and military prowess, but also served as a protective deity with apotropaic powers. He was worshipped from the Old Kingdom but gained popularity within the Middle Kingdom. He was later associated with Solar imagery and power when combined with the gods Horus and Ra.

The prostrating baboons depicted here, with lunar crescents on their head represents the god Thoth. Thoth was an important deity in the Egyptian pantheon, existing since pre-dynastic times. He was god of scribes, writing, thought and the implementing of laws. In the afterlife he was a key deity in the ‘weighing of the Heart’ ceremony, recording the deceased’s heart against the feather of Ma’at, representing the principle of Ma’at, was exactly even.

According to the Heliopolitan creation myth, Atum wished himself into existence from Nun, emerging as the mythical Bennu bird. Flying to Heliopolis, he descended on the Benben, the mound that arose from the primordial waters and the peak of a pyramid. The capstone of an obelisk is thus associated with both the Bennu and the Benben, and thus to Amun.

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

Weight 2.87 g
Dimensions L 1.7 x W 1.3 cm

Egyptian Mythology

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Reference: For similar obverse: The British Museum, London, item EA69753 (central amulet) and For similar reverse iconography: The Metropolitan Museum, New York, item 35.3.49