Egyptian Steatite Second Intermediate Cylinder Seal
A highly rare steatite Egyptian cylinder seal decorated entirely with hieroglyphs. The seal is sectioned into five vertical registers and filled with various hieroglyphs. The most prominent band features two large uraei, whilst the other registers display smaller, apotropaic signs.
The amulet is pierced for suspension.
Date: Circa 1650 - 1550 BC Period: Second Intermediate Period, 15th Dynasty, Hyksos Period Provenance: Ex major S.M., London, Collection 1970-2010. Condition: Very fine. Clear and precise hieroglyphs. Wear to both ends.
The Hyksos period, during the late Middle Kingdom, was a period of foreign rule by a succession of Asiatic chieftains, hailing from the Levant. Craftsmen followed on the tradition of using scarabs as protection amulets however their style and motifs were different. A scarab such as this, typical of the Hyksos style, features characteristic ‘Egyptian’ hieroglyphs formulated into a symmetrical pattern. The Hyksos recognised the apotropaic values of the scarab and one such as this, with the ankh and ka signs, would have been exceedingly popular. The Ka signs, in particular, are stylistically identifiable as Hyksos-period.
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