Egyptian Steatite Scarab with Sema-Tawy

£ 225.00

A very fine Egyptian steatite scarab with incised features such as clypeus and prothorax marked by single lines. Two fine lines with swirling ends mark the smooth elytra. Detailing to the head and eyes are still visible. The reverse is detailed with a central sema-tawy, symbolising the unification of Egypt. The motif comprises a windpipe entwined with lotus and papyrus plants, symbols that respectively represent the Upper and Lower Egypt. Further floral motifs are carved in symmetric opposition to the top and bottom of the reverse plate. The scarab has been pierced longitudinally for suspension, though the hole is now blocked.

Date: Circa 1938 – 1292 BC
Period: 12th to 18th Dynasty
Provenance: Ex major S.M., London, Collection 1970-2010.
Condition: Very good condition with very fine and clearly defined hieroglyphs.


SKU: MG-67 Category: Tags: , ,

The scarab beetle was an exceedingly popular symbol in the art of Ancient Egypt, thought to represent the sun god, Ra. The Ancient Egyptians believed that the scarab beetle rolling its ball of dung across the desert mirrored the journey of the sun across the sky from day to night. As the beetle laid its eggs within the dung, it became a symbol of rebirth and regeneration.

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

Weight 2.93 g
Dimensions L 2 x W 1.4 x H 1.1 cm



Reference: For a similar item, please see The Metropolitan Museum, item 22.1.334