A Late period Egyptian scarab made from steatite and decorated to the reverse. The obverse of the scarab features an incised linear pattern to the body, whilst moulded detail has been used for the head and clypeus. Further incised decoration denotes the elytra and wing markings. The reverse features an attempt at incised decorative markings, although they are now too faint to decipher. The amulet is pierced longitudinally for suspension.
Date: Circa 1550 - 1070 BC Period: New Kingdom Provenance: Ex major S.M., London, Collection 1970-2010. Condition: Fine. Chip to one side. Unclear hieroglyphs.
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. The scarab was one of the most popular ancient Egyptian amulets. They were used as pieces of jewellery, commemorative items and seals, and magical amulets offering protection and good fortune.
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