Egyptian Steatite Scarab Dedicated to Amun-Ra


A steatite Egyptian scarab with incised hieroglyphs to the reverse. The moulded obverse features a detailed clypeus, head and protruding notched legs, whilst single inscribed lines have been used to depict the prothorax and elytra. Incised indentations mark the humeral callosities. The scarab is decorated to the reverse with various hieroglyphs referring to the god Amun-Ra. To the top is the draughtboard sign 𓏠 (‘mn’ sound) and the water ripple sign 𓈖 (‘n’ sound), symbols used in the writing of Amun. The two signs are followed by a semicircle which represents the god Ra and a goose/duck, facing right. Together these signs transliterate as sʒ rʿ, and would translate as ‘son of Ra’.  Additionally the goose was a sacred animal of the god Amun, whose list of epithets included ‘the great cackler’. Thus the scarab is being deliberately ambiguous in the gods it invokes the protection of; calling upon Amun and Ra for aid. The scarab is pierced longitudinally for suspension.

Date: 1550-1070 BC
Period: New Kingdom Period
Provenance: Acquired 1980s-1990s. Private collection of H.N., Milton Keynes, Berkshire, UK.
Condition: Very fine condition, with defined hieroglyphs and anatomical features. Professionally repaired.


SKU: CY-105 Category: Tags: , ,

The Egyptian god, Amun-Ra, was a highly important deity in the Egyptian pantheon. Originally, he was worshipped as two gods, the creator of the universe, Amun, and the sun-god, Ra. He gains national importance after the defeat of the Hyksos at Thebes in the 16th century and it is from this date we see a combination of the two gods. As his position grew, Amun-Ra’s worship was almost monotheistic in nature, with the other gods considered manifestations of him. So great was his influence that he was identified with the Greek god Zeus from the Ptolemaic period, to form Zeus Ammon. Alexander the Great claimed divine descent as the son of Amun. Scarabs such as this, asking for protection from a specific god were popular in the late New Kingdom Period and Third Intermediate Period.

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

Weight 1.11 g
Dimensions L 1.3 x W 1.0 x H 0.6 cm

Egyptian Mythology




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