This scarab calls upon the protection of both Amun-Ra and the goddess Ma’at. The wearer has been deliberately vague, not referencing just one deity, through the use of the specifically chosen signs.
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.
Ma’at was the Egyptian goddess and personification of truth, harmony, law and justice. She was depicted wearing an ostrich feather, symbol of truth. She represented the principles that every Egyptian citizen was expected to follow through their daily lives. She was especially important within the afterlife and the ‘Weighing of the Heart’ ceremony, when the heart of the deceased was measured against Ma’at’s feather.
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.