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from Tell el-Ajjul, Palestine

Postcard of Scarab.
© National Museums Scotland


A scarab is an ancient Egyptian amulet in the form of a dung beetle, symbolic of regeneration. As time went on, scarabs developed into use as personal seals. This example of glazed steatite was found at Tell el-Ajjul in Palestine and dates from the 2nd Intermediate Period or early New Kingdom (around 1759 to 1295 BC).

This picture shows the base of the scarab. It was incised with a cable pattern.

Egyptian scarabs and scaraboids were carried by trade throughout the Mediterranean and into Mesopotamia. Greek and Etruscan imitations are also known.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-104-601-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  A.1938.289
Date: 2nd Intermediate Period or early New Kingdom (around 1759 to 1295 BC)
2nd Intermediate Period, 15th - 16th Dynasty
Dimensions: 0.75" L
Subject: Scarabs
Where: Ancient Egypt, Palestine, Tell el-Ajjul
Description: Scarab in glazed steatite, with a cable pattern incised on the base: Palestinian, from Tell el-Ajjul, Ancient Egyptian, 2nd Intermediate Period or early New Kingdom
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