A dark turquoise faience Egyptian scarab decorated to the reverse with hieroglyphs. The front features a detailed head and clypeus. The elytra (wing coverings) are divided by an incised vertical line down the centre of the body, whilst a similar horizontal line marks the thorax. The reverse features 4 hieroglyphs, crudely rendered but unmistakeable. The two signs to the top of the scarab, starting left to right, are ‘3, described as wooden column and translating as ‘great’. The second sign transliterates as ‘ntr’ and represents cloth on a pole. It translates as ‘god’. There is a circular sun disk underneath, representing the god Ra. Thus, together they form the phrase ‘Great god, Ra’.
The piece is pierced longitudinally for suspension.
Date: Circa 1550 - 1069 BC Period: New Kingdom Provenance: Ex private London based collection, AH, formerly in English family collections acquired from the 1920s - 1990s. Condition: Excellent. Very clear and precise hieroglyphs
The Egyptian god Ra was an important deity in the Egyptian pantheon. Primarily he was a sun god, hence the sun-disk iconography represented here. As his importance grew, he was associated with all aspects of the created world; the sun, the sky and the Earth. Portrayed as a falcon-headed god, he bore similarities with Horus. The worship of Ra was often combined with other similar gods, who had similar attributes such as Ra-Horakhty and Amun-Ra.
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