Marriage Scarab of Amenhotep III and Tiye

Blue faience scarab, commemorating the marriage of Amenhotep III with Queen Tiye. The inscription on the underside is inlaid with bluish-white glaze. There are additional inscriptions on two sides, under the legs of the beetle – right) name of Queen Tiye; left) throne name of Amenhotep III. Probably sent to dignitaries of Egypt as announcements. It is in a good condition except for the blowholes in glaze surface, and the wearing away of the bluish white glaze in the hieroglyphs.

In the first eleven years of his reign, Amenhotep III issued more than two hundred large scarabs (beetle-shaped amulets) inscribed with descriptions of important events, such as a wild-cattle hunt or the building of an artificial lake.

Marriage Scarab of Amenhotep III and Queen Tiye
Marriage Scarab of Amenhotep III and Queen Tiye
Marriage Scarab of Amenhotep III and Queen Tiye
Marriage Scarab of Amenhotep III and Queen Tiye

Of these commemorative scarabs, fifty-six list the king’s complete titles, the boundaries of the empire, and Queen Tiye’s title and parents’ names. This formal statement of Tiye’s lineage and her official link to Amenhotep III have led most Egyptologists to call these objects “marriage scarabs” even though they do not mention the royal union.

New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, reign of Amenhotep III, ca. 1391-1353 BC. Made out of Egyptian faience, glazed. Now in the Brooklyn Museum. 37.475E