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Collection: Museum of Ancient Cultures

Heart scarab amulet

Accession # MU3026
Creator
Culture Egyptian
Period New Kingdom
Date Ramesside Period (Dynasty 19-20)
Provenance
Material/s Steatite
Dimensions 4.1cm (l) x 3cm (w) x 1.6cm (d)
Collection Museum of Ancient Cultures
Source Macquarie University, MAC
Classification
Click here to inspect 3d item.
MU 3026 is a small stone heart scarab amulet. The upper side of the amulet is in the form of a scarab beetle. Characteristic features of the beetle such as the clypeus, head, prothorax and elytra are clearly incised. The underside of the amulet has been inscribed with seven rows of horizontal hieroglyphic text. The text reads from left to right and is an extract from Chapter 30B of the Book of the Dead (BD), a ‘spell’ which commands the heart not to speak against the deceased during the weighing of the heart ritual at the court of Osiris.
In Ancient Egyptian mythology the scarab beetle was seen as a manifestation of the sun god Khepri and was associated with concepts of regeneration and rebirth. Observation of the scarab beetle rolling a ball of dung along the ground inspired the belief that the god Khepri took on the form of a giant scarab beetle and pushed the sun-disc across the sky each day. As a symbol of the sun god, the scarab beetle became a symbol of rebirth and thus is often associated with funerary contexts.
  • Syllabus Links
    • Stage 6 Preliminary
      • Investigating Ancient History, The investigation of Ancient sites and sources
      • Features of Ancient Societies, Death and Funerary Customs in Egypt
    • Stage 6 HSC Ancient Societies. Option A New Kingdom Egypt society to the death of Amenhotep III
        ,li>The economy, including; occupations, crafts and industry; wood, stone and metal
      • Religion, death and burial, including; gods, goddesses, cults and priesthoods including Amun-Re, Osiris (ACHAH276)
      • Religion, death and burial, including; funerary customs, rituals and texts; afterlife concepts, mummification (ACHAH278)
      • Religion, death and burial, including; The Book of the Dead and the Amduat (Book of What is the in the Netherworld)
      • Cultural and everyday life, including; art; sculpture, jewellery and wall paintings
    • Stage 6 HSC Ancient Societies. Option B New Kingdom Egypt society during the Ramesside Period
      • The economy, including; occupations, crafts and industry; wood, stone and metal (ACHAH112)
      • Religion, death and burial, including; gods, goddesses, cults and priesthoods; Amun, Re, Ptah, Osiris (ACHAH141)
      • Religion, death and burial, including; funerary customs; afterlife concepts and mummification (ACHAH144)
      • Religion, death and burial, including; The Book of the Dead and the Amduat (Book of What is the in the Netherworld), The Book of Gates (ACHAH140)
      • Cultural and everyday life, including; art; sculpture, jewellery and wall paintings (ACHAH120, ACHAH121, ACHAH123)
    • Historical Concepts and Skills; Analysis and use of sources
      • Explain the meaning and value of sources for an historical inquiry (ACHAH007, ACHAH009)
      • Analyse sources to identify and account for the different perspectives of individuals and groups in the past (ACHAH010)
      • Analyse and synthesise evidence from different types of sources to develop reasoned claims (ACHAH008)
      • Identify and analyse problems relating to sources in the investigation of the past (ACHAH011)
    • Historical Concepts and Skills; Historical interpretation
      • Analyse the extent and nature of continuity and change over time (ACHAH001)
    • Historical Concepts and Skills; Historical investigation and research
      • Use evidence from a range of sources to inform investigation and research (ACHAH005)
    • Historical Concepts and Skills; Explanation and communication
      • Develop texts, particularly historical accounts and arguments, supported by relevant evidence from sources (ACHAH013)
  • Educational Resources
  • Online Resources
  • Bibliography/References
    • Andrews, C., (1994), Amulets of Ancient Egypt, London.
    • Faulkner, R. O., (1972), The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, London.
    • Hall, H. R., (1913), Catalogue of Egyptian Scarabs, etc., in the British Museum, Volume I, Royal Scarabs, London.
    • Hart, G., (1986), A Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, Oxford.
    • Pinch, G., (2002), Egyptian Mythology. A Guide to the Gods, Goddesses, and Traditions of Ancient Egypt, Oxford.
    • Taylor, J. H., (2001), Death and the Afterlife in Ancient Egypt. London.
    • Tristant, Y. & Ryan, E. (eds.) (2017), Death is Only the Beginning, Oxford, p.250-255 and cat.53, p.244-245.
    • Wilkinson, R.H., (2008), Egyptian Scarabs, Oxford.

Cite this page

Museum of Ancient Cultures (2019). Heart scarab amulet, MU3026. https://objectbasedlearning.com//museum-of-ancient-cultures/MU3026 (accessed on: 05 April 2019).

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