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An Egyptian Incised Button Scarab for Neith, XII Dynasty, ca 1992-1820 BC

EM915

a dome-like shape of ivory colored steatite, top of the dome is carved with eight radiating lines, alternating negative spaces between lines shaded with cross-hatching. Two concentric circles are incised into the circumference of the scarab, the base bears the glyph for the goddess Neith.

Scarabs were popular amulets in ancient Egypt. According to ancient Egyptian myth, the sun (Ra) rolls across the sky each day and transforms bodies and souls. "Modeled upon the Scarabaeidae family, dung beetle, which rolls dung into a ball for the purposes of eating and laying eggs that are later transformed into larva, the scarab was seen as an earthly symbol of this heavenly cycle of sun and rebirth."

References: Andrews, Carol, 1994. Amulets of Ancient Egypt, chapter 4: Scarabs for the living and funerary scarabs, pp 50-59, Andrews, Carol, c 1993, University of Texas Press.

Condition:  Pierced for attachment, the scarab is intact  with some deposits, overall a very fine example.   

Dimensions:  1 cm (3/8 inch)

Provenance:   George Ollinger private collection, Pennsylvania, thereafter in a private Pennsylvania collection, acquired from the Ollinger estate in the late 1990's.


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