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.