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Winged Scarab

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Funerary Gallery 2, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor
Living persons wore only one or a few amulets at a time, but mummies usually bear many amulets. The Ma’at amulet (no. 2) and heart scarabs (nos. 1, 3, 11), which occurred in many forms, guaranteed a successful judgment of the dead. The amulets of a hand (no. 8), lungs and a windpipe (no. 12), and wadjet-eyes (i.e., “healthy” eyes; no. 4) protected those parts of the body and also had connotations of resurrection and the unity or integrity of the mummy. The enigmatic aper amulet (no. 13) takes the form of the hieroglyph meaning “to be equipped,” perhaps in reference to the mummy’s preparation. The two crowns (nos. 5, 6) were symbols of power. The Heh insignia (no. 7), like the popular ankh-sign, denoted eternal life. Among the living, the frog (no. 9) and possibly also the hare (no. 10) suggested fertility. The amulets of the Four Sons of Horus (no. 15) perhaps served, as they did with canopic jars, to protect various organs of the body.
MEDIUM Faience
  • Possible Place Collected: Balabish, Egypt
  • DATES 664–332 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 18 to Dynasty 20
    PERIOD Late Period
    DIMENSIONS 1/2 x 1 1/16 x 1 5/16 in. (1.2 x 2.7 x 3.3 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Gift of the Egypt Exploration Fund
    PROVENANCE Balabish, Egypt; 1915, excavated by Gerald Avery Wainwright and Thomas Whittemore for the Egypt Exploration Society; 1915, gift of the Egypt Exploration Society to the Brooklyn Museum.
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    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Blue. With separate wings. Scarab in blue glazed faience, with separate wings, the details of the latter carefully marked with primary and secondary feathering, and attached with modern string. The scarab is pierced top and bottom and on both sides for the attachment of the wings. Back: clypeus notched, plate (hatched), head and eyes marked. A single line between the elytra, descending to the base, a single line between the prothorax and elytra. The elytra are striated. Side: legs molded in bold relief, all feathered. The tip of each of the wings is pierced.
    CAPTION Winged Scarab, 664–332 B.C.E. Faience, 1/2 x 1 1/16 x 1 5/16 in. (1.2 x 2.7 x 3.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Egypt Exploration Fund, 15.523. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.x249.42_wwgA-3.jpg)
    IMAGE installation, West Wing gallery A-3 installation, CUR.x249.42_wwgA-3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2009
    "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.
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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