Amethyst scarab inscribed with hieroglyphs

This vibrant purple amethyst scarab beetle is said to be found in Tomb IV at Jebail in Lebanon, according to Montet 1928. However, it is impossible to establish the exact provenance of this beetle (cf. Martin 1996). The scarab is beautifully inscribed on its back with name ‘Impy’ and hieroglyphic signs including ka sign, nefer and lotus sign.

Scarabs were popular amulets during various periods of ancient Egyptian history, including the Middle Kingdom. While scarabs were typically made from materials like steatite, faience, or glazed pottery, amethyst was occasionally used as well.

Amethyst scarab inscribed with hieroglyphs. The Louvre. E 25729
Amethyst scarab inscribed with hieroglyphs. The Louvre. E 25729

Amethyst held significance in ancient Egypt and was highly valued for its beauty and spiritual properties.

Amethyst scarabs were often associated with protection, rebirth, and spiritual significance. They were crafted with intricate carvings and inscriptions, and they were worn as jewelry or used in funerary rituals.

However, it’s important to note that amethyst scarabs were not as common as scarabs made from other materials during ancient Egypt.

Amethyst was highly valued for its vibrant purple color and was associated with royalty, spirituality, and protection.

The gemstone was associated with protection, healing, and warding off negative energies. It was often used in royal and elite jewelry, as well as in the burial rituals of king and high-ranking individuals.

It was considered a precious gemstone and was used in various forms, including jewelry, amulets, and decorative objects.

Amethyst scarab inscribed with hieroglyphs.
Amethyst scarab inscribed with hieroglyphs.

Amethyst was believed to have protective properties against negative energies and was often used in jewelry, amulets, and ceremonial objects.

The color purple was also associated with royalty and power in ancient Egyptian culture, further enhancing the allure of amethyst.

Middle Kingdom, 12th Dynasty, ca. 1963-1786 BC. Dimensions: height: 1.73 cm, length: 3.3cm, width: 2.27 cm. Now in the Louvre. E 25729