Skip Navigation

Heart Amulet with Head of a Scarab

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

The heart was generally the only organ left inside the human mummy. Ancient Egyptians believed that the heart was the seat of one’s consciousness, and that it was weighed against the feather of truth during Osiris’s judgment of the deceased. If the scale remained in balance, the deceased was accepted into the afterlife. To ensure success, a heart scarab was placed close to the heart of the mummy. Its inscriptions asked the heart to support the deceased during judgment.

The unusual shape of this amulet represents an animal’s heart—the shape of the hieroglyph for “heart”—with the head of a scarab beetle, a symbol of regeneration.
MEDIUM Jade (probably)
DATES 1539-1190 B.C.
DYNASTY XVIII Dynasty - XIX Dynasty
PERIOD New Kingdom
DIMENSIONS 9/16 x 1 1/16 x 1 7/8 in. (1.5 x 2.7 x 4.8 cm)  (show scale)
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.

Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact (charges apply).

For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch.

For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright.

If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact
CAPTION Heart Amulet with Head of a Scarab, 1539-1190 B.C. Jade (probably), 9/16 x 1 1/16 x 1 7/8 in. (1.5 x 2.7 x 4.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.492E. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE installation, Body Parts Installation (2009), CUR.37.492E_bodyparts.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.