Humanoid Heart Scarab Amulet

The so-called “heart scarabs” had to protect the heart of the deceased. According to ancient Egyptians, the heart contained the intellect and emotions. For this reason, it should have been preserved in the Afterlife as well.

Heart scarabs were very popular amulets. Positioned on the chest of the mummy, they usually take the shape of a large scarab beetle (which was a symbol of regeneration). Occasionally, the beetle’s head is replaced with that of a human. For the ancient Egyptians the heart was not only the center of life, but also of thinking, memory, and moral values.

Humanoid Heart Scarab Amulet
Humanoid Heart Scarab Amulet

After death the heart was thought to be weighed against maat – the principle of order and justice in order to determine if the deceased had lived a just life. Only if that was the case, was he or she allowed to live on in the afterlife.

Understandably, the Egyptians feared a negative outcome and special amulets were used to ensure a positive judgment.

Related: Humanoid Khepri Scarab Amulet

The flat underside of a heart scarab is usually inscribed with chapter 30B of the Book of the Dead, the so-called heart scarab amulet spell that magically “prevents the heart from creating opposition” and in which the deceased’s heart is directed not to tell lies about its owner.

Third Intermediate Period, ca. 943-746 BC. Made of steatite. Dimensions: 4 x 5.5 x 8.5 cm. Now in the Egyptian Museum of Turin. Cat. 5983