Scarab Bracelet of Shoshenq II

This piece of beautiful scarab bracelet belongs to King Shoshenq II. The ends of the rigid bracelet are in the shape of lotus flowers with details that were once inlaid. The ends of the plain gold bracelet are joined by a finely detailed scarab of lapis lazuli. The body of the scarab is enclosed in a gold frame.

A faint inscription on the flat side of the scarab indicates that the bracelet was originally made for a person called Djedkhonsefankh, not Shoshenq II.

Gold Bracelet of King Shoshenq II
Gold Bracelet of King Shoshenq II

The ancient Egyptians adopted the scarab (Ateuchus sacer) as a symbol of the sun god, because they were familiar with the sight of the beetle rolling a ball of dung on the ground and this action suggested to them that the invisible power that rolled the sun daily across the sky could be represented pictorially as a scarab.

In the ancient Egyptian language the words for the scarab and for existence were identical (kheper). The name of the sun god, on his first appearance every morning, was Khepri. In hieroglyphs the scarab sign was used for all three words.

Third Intermediate Period, 22nd Dynasty, reign of Shoshenq II, ca. 887-885 BC. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 72185