What did scarabs and hippos represent to ancient Egyptians?
This kind of beetle was highly symbolic to ancient Egyptians, it represented rebirth and renewal. They believed that the sun was pushed across the sky every day by a giant scarab, the god Khepri. In real life, the scarab beetle lays its eggs in a ball of dung and rolls the ball ahead of it wherever it goes. When the young beetles hatch they pop out through the dung which seemed like a miracle to the Egyptians!
As for hippos -- they were a common sight along the Nile river, for one thing. They are powerful animals and dangerous ones, they were hazards to boats and to humans.
Some sculptures of hippos are decorated with designs of plants that were common to the Nile region. Do you see any like this?
Was it a blue hippo?
Yeah! Is that color special for Egyptians?
Yes, incredibly special!
For the Egyptians the lighter shade of blue was almost interchangeable with green, the color of the sea, plants, vegetation, and thus health and life. Turquoise, a popular stone, mined primarily in the Sinai was closely linked to the goddess Hathor, the Lady of Turquoise.
The darker shade of blue was associated with the dark primordial waters out of which creation first appeared, as well as the night sky through which the sun-god travelled to be reborn every morning. The close links between dark blue and black also evoke the black mineral-rich soil of the Nile valley which was great for agriculture. All of the above hold the significance of creation and resurrection. In sculpture this color usually appears as lapis-lazuli, an imported stone often used to represent dark hair.
This necklace is so beautiful! What is faience?
Faience is a man-made material made from a paste of copper, quartz, lime, and other materials that are fired like ceramics. It was an affordable alternative to the more precious lapis lazuli. The blue color has symbolic meaning as well, it was connected to the Nile, which brings life-giving water to the Egypt.
Cool! So interesting!
I would like to know more about this necklace.
This necklace is made up of beads in the shape of jasmine blossoms that are made of a material called faience. Floral necklaces were an important feature in ancient Egypt. They were tied to ideas of rebirth because flowers die and come back every year.
Amazing! Thank you
Tell me more.
Theses lovely pieces would have served as jewelry much like we were today. Beaded necklaces of faience were particularly popular.
Using faience was an affordable alternative to the more precious lapis lazuli. The blue color has symbolic meaning as well! It was connected to the Nile, whose annual floods made life in the desert possible!