Large Egyptian Hyksos Period Scarab


A substantial ancient Egyptian hard stone scarab from the Hyksos period, with incised hieroglyphs to the reverse. The obverse is simple in nature, with a vaguely moulded shape to the clypeus and head. Incised indentations mark the humeral callosities. The reverse however features a multitude of inscribed hieroglyphs, with symmetry guiding their formation. To the top of the scarab is a rounded cartouche, with stylised signs. Included is a rounded ‘neb’ sign and crude ‘ka’ symbol. Flanking the cartouche are two ‘ḥm’ signs, described as a club and translates as ‘majesty’. The scene is finalised with a winged sun-disc dividing the two registers. The signs within the cartouche are copied within the second register, this time with no cartouche encircling them. Two flanking Deshret crowns border the apotropaic signs. The second register is completed with a large ‘neb’ sign to the base, acting as a filler ornament.

The scarab has been pierced longitudinally for suspension.

Date: Circa 1750–1550 BC
Period: Hkysos Period, 17th - 15th Dynasty
Provenance: Ex major S.M., London, Collection 1970-2010.
Condition: Very fine condition. Small chips to the rim.


SKU: AH-1049 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.

The term ‘Hyksos’ can be traced back to the Egyptian expression ‘heka khasewet’, which means, “rulers of foreign lands”. The Hyksos of the fifteenth Dynasty of Egypt, ruling during the Second Intermediate Period, were thus of non-Egyptian origin. They were probably Canaanite, and one tends to find the names of rulers on their scarabs. The Hyksos Kingdom was centred in the eastern Nile Delta and Middle Egypt. It was limited in size, never extending south into Upper Egypt, and it had Memphis as its capital. The Deshret crown of Lower Egypt frequently occurs on Hyksos scarabs to denote their conquered region.

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

Weight 4.01 g
Dimensions L 2.3 x W 1.5 cm



Reference: For similar: The Metropolitan Museum, New York, item 56.152.4