Uninscribed Heart Scarab
Although this example is uninscribed, its size and style identify it as a “heart” scarab, meant to be placed within the wrappings of the mummy.
Many such scarabs bear the text of Chapter 30B of the Book of the Dead, in which the owner asks his or her heart not to testify against them at the Judgment before Osiris, or Weighing of the Heart.
This scarab is made of a green stone, as instructed in the Book of the Dead. Traces of gilding can be seen here as well.
At the judgment, which took place in the Hall of Two Truths in the realm of the god of the dead, Osiris, the heart would be weighed against the symbol of the goddess Maat, embodiment of the proper order of the Egyptian cosmos.
If the deceased had lived an ethical life and thus upheld the order of the cosmos, he would be allowed to live forever in the company of Osiris. If the heart was did not balance, showing that its owner had not lived according to Maat, it was fed to a monstrous creature called Ammut, and the person would die forever.
Probably Third Intermediate Period, ca. 1070-664 BC. L. 5.6 × W. 4.3 × H. 2.1 cm (2 3/16 × 1 11/16 × 13/16 in.). Now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. 30.8.1076