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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 is similar to ones found in Palestine. It dates from around 1295 to 1069 BC.

This picture shows the base of the scarab. It was incised with a hieroglyphic motif, perhaps a writing of the name of Thutmose III, ruler around 1479 to 1425 BC.

Religious and secular life were intertwined in ancient Egypt. The king (known as pharaoh from the time of the New Kingdom) was also considered to be several gods. Objects inscribed with the names of kings could function as amulets, and need not date to their reigns.

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Online ID: 000-190-004-251-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  A.1921.1070
Date: New Kingdom, 19th - 20th Dynasty
New Kingdom: 19th or 20th Dynasty (around 1295 to 1069 BC)
Dimensions: 0.88" L
Subject: Scarabs
Where: Ancient Egypt, Palestine
Description: Scarab, incised on base with hieroglyphic motif, perhaps a writing of the name (prenomen) of Thutmose III, Palestinian: Ancient Egyptian, New Kingdom, 19th - 20th Dynasty
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