Egyptian Steatite Scarab Dedicated to Amun


A delicate Egyptian steatite scarab amulet moulded to the front and inscribed with hieroglyphs to the reverse. The obverse features a detailed clypeus and head, whilst single inscribed lines have been used to depict the prothorax and elytra. The reverse features a detailed scene with a central kneeling figure, his arms raised to the sky. Depicted as such, the figure is most likely the god Heh, who was the god of infinity. The flying bird, most likely a goose, was sacred to Amun and thus represents the god. Winged uraeii flank the kneeling figure of Heh, filling the rest of the composition. The combination of signs depicted here is expressively asking for Amun’s blessing, lord of eternity.

The amulet is pierced longitudinally for suspension.

Date: Circa 1295-664 BC
Period: New Kingdom Period - Third Intermediate Period
Provenance: Ex major S.M., London, Collection 1970-2010.
Condition: Excellent. Very clear hieroglyphs. Hairline crack to rear suspension hole.


SKU: AH-1045 Category: Tags: , , , ,

Amun was one of the principle deities within the Egyptian pantheon. Worshipped from the Old Kingdom, his importance grew and he was eventually placed as the patron god of Thebes. His national importance was affirmed with the fusion of Amun and the sky-god, Ra, to become Amun-Ra. He was associated by the Ancient Greeks to Zeus. Not seen on scarabs before the 18th Dynasty, the name Amun or Amun-Ra became a popular inscription on amulets in both Egypt and Palestine for the duration of the New Kingdom. These commonly display the name of the god alone and filling their entire field, or accompanied by additional motifs as seen on this piece. The popularity of scarabs dedicated to Amun can be linked with the revival of the deity’s cult after the 2nd Intermediate Period. Scarabs such as this, asking for protection from a specific god were popular in the late New Kingdom Period and Third Intermediate Period.

The Egyptian god Heh, normally depicted as either a human or with a frog head, was the god of infinity and time. A common interpretation of him is with his arms bent and extended outwards holding palm branches. This represented the number one million, which to the Ancient Egyptians was synonymous with infinity. Heh was one of the eight gods of Ogdoad which was comprised of four frog gods and four snake goddesses of chaos.

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

Weight 1.78 g
Dimensions L 1.7 x W 1.2 cm

Egyptian Mythology




Reference: For similar: The Metropolitan Museum, New York, item X.351.11