Scarab (base)

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Postcard of Scarab (base).
© National Museums Scotland

Scarab (base)

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 faded glazed steatite dates from around 1539 to 1295 BC.

This picture shows the back of the scarab. It has been inscribed with eight lines of hieroglyphs commemorating the lion hunts of Amenhotep III, ruler around 1382 to 1344.

During the reign of Amenhotep III, a group of scarabs were made recording his great hunting prowess. Lines 1 to 4 state the five names of the king, line 5 the name of the queen, and lines 6 to 8 record the total number of 102 lions hunted in a ten year period.

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Online ID: 000-190-002-013-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  A.1960.572
Date: New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty
New Kingdom: 18th Dynasty, reign of Amenhotep III (around 1382 to 134
Dimensions: 84 mm L
What: Scarab
Subject: Scarabs
Who: Amenhotep III
Nash Collection
Where: Ancient Egypt
Description: Scarab, faded glazed steatite, incised on base with the lion-hunt text of Amenhotep III: Ancient Egyptian, New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty
  • Blankenberg-van Delden, C. The large commemorative scarabs of Amenhotep III. Leiden: Brill, 1969, p 72 (C.22) 
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