Object Based Learning

Heart scarab amulet


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.


Heart scarab amulet
Macquarie University History Museum
Archaeology,Daily Life,Artefact,Egypt,
Ancient History (Year 11 & 12)
New Kingdom
Ramesside Period (Dynasty 19-20)
4.1cm (l) x 3cm (w) x 1.6cm (d)
Macquarie University, MAC


  • 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

Macquarie University History Museum (2024). Heart scarab amulet, MU3026. //sveltekit-prerender/artefacts/heart_scarab_amulet/ (accessed on: Tue Apr 16 2024).

Rights & Permissions

We support the open release of data and information about our collections. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.