Middle Kingdom Scarab
This golden scarab dates from approximately 1980–1801 B.C., during the Middle Kingdom period of Ancient Egypt. It was purchased from Mohammed Mohasseb and Son, in Luxor, by Lucy Olcott Perkins through Henry W. Kent and now resides at the Cleveland Museum of Art. It is 1.1 cm and weighs 1.6 g (0.06 oz.).
The scarab beetle amulet became vastly popular around the beginnings of the Middle Kingdom. Scarab beetles were associated with the solar deity Khepri, and the scarab beetle amulet remained popular for the entirety of the Dynastic age.
Scarabs can be seen as the centrepiece of many types of jewellery, from rings to necklaces. The scarab beetle design was even used for commemorative icons, engraved with important events and declarations.
Scarabs, which were amulets shaped like beetles, were typically made from various materials such as stone, faience, or precious metals like gold or silver. These scarabs often featured intricate engravings or inscriptions and held symbolic significance in ancient Egyptian culture.
Heart scarabs were very popular amulets. For the ancient Egyptians the heart was not only the center of life, but also of thinking, memory, and moral values. In the final judgement the heart was thought to be weighed against Maat – the principle of order and justice. Only if the deceased had lived a righteous life was he or she allowed to live on in the afterlife.