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Timeless are pleased to offer a late-period Egyptian Scarab Amulet, dating from 664 -332 B.C.E.


The scarab beetle, specifically the species Scarabaeus sacer, holds a special place in Egyptian symbolism. The Egyptians observed the scarab's behavior of rolling dung into a ball, from which it seemed new life emerged, as a metaphor for the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. This act was associated with the sun god Ra's journey across the sky and through the underworld, making the scarab a symbol of the rising sun, creation, resurrection, and eternal life.


Scarab amulets served multiple functions in ancient Egyptian society:


  • Protective Talismans: Worn by the living, scarab amulets were believed to offer protection against evil forces and bring good luck. They were particularly favored by travelers and soldiers.


  • Funerary Amulets: In funerary contexts, scarabs were placed among the bandages of mummies or in the tomb. Heart scarabs, often inscribed with Chapter 30B of the Book of the Dead, were placed over the heart of the deceased to ensure the heart would not bear witness against the individual in the afterlife.


  • Seals and Signets: Larger scarab amulets could serve as seals, with the flat underside engraved with the names and titles of officials or with protective spells. These were used to seal documents and as symbols of authority.


Carved in glazed composition, this 2500yr old amulet measures 16mm along its length.


Now available in the Timeless Galleries.


Please note the size of Ancient Egyptian amulets - they were originally intended to be worn as charms, or tucked into bedding or clothing, and are consequently small in size.



  • Acquired by Timeless on the UK antiquities market, 2019. Previously forming part of the Igor Karmiloff Collection (1915 - 2016), UN economist and author of Flashback, Icons of Impermanence. Originally acquired in the 1950s to early 1960s.


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