This beautiful scarab is a wonderful example of one of the most popular types of amulet produced and worn in ancient Egypt. The rounded surface of the piece is carved to represent the anatomy of a scarab beetle. The flat surface is decorated concentric circle motifs. Eight of these circles ring the surface, with one circle decorating the center. Two wing-like projections extend from the center circle.
The popularity of such amulets stems from the fact that the scarab beetle was a symbol of rebirth and of Ra, the Egyptian sun god. The beetle’s association with the sun is derived from the Egyptian belief that a giant scarab pushed the sun across the sky each day, just as its terrestrial brethren pushed balls of dung across the earth. Scarab amulets first appear during the First Intermediary period, and persist through the Late period.
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