Egyptian Steatite Scarab dedicated to Ma’at

$400.57

A steatite Egyptian scarab beetle amulet with incised features such as clypeus, prothorax and elytra marked by single lines. The reverse features incised hieroglyphs depicting a seated female deity, a round sun-disc and a broad-collar sign. The female deity holds an ‘ankh’ symbol to her knees and wears a feathered headdress, distinguishing her as Ma’at. The broad-collar sign, transliterates as ‘nbw’ and translates as ‘gold’.

The amulet is pierced longitudinally for suspension.

Date: Circa 1070 – 664 BC
Period: Third Intermediate Period
Provenance: from the Gustave Mustaki collection, a collector of antiquities who amassed a large collection in Alexandria (Egypt).
Condition: Excellent. With very fine and clearly defined hieroglyphs.

SOLD

SKU: AH-849 Category: Tags: , ,

It has been suggested that the combination of these three signs could form a varied transliteration of Neb-maat-re, which was also the Throne name of Amenhotep III. The broad-collar sign replacing the usual basket sign (nb). It is possible that the scarab calls upon the protection of Amenhotep III, in much the same way Thutmose III was revered. However, alternatively, and most likely, is that the scarab calls upon the protection of the goddess Ma’at.

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.

Weight 1.32 g
Dimensions L 1.5 cm
Country

Culture

Egyptian Mythology

Region

Stone

Reference: For Similar: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, item 30.8.637

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