The scarab is the single most abundant artifact to have survived from ancient Egypt and hundreds of thousands, if not millions, were made throughout the course of Egyptian history. Today, scarabs continue to be found on excavations throughout Egypt and thousands reside in museum collections around the world. This volume examines these ubiquitous and important artifacts by first considering the unique biology and behavior of the scarab beetle and its incorporation into Egyptian symbolism, religion and art. The development of the scarab amulet is then considered, and the many types of scarab produced by the Egyptians are surveyed. Two particularly important classes of scarab – the heart scarab and the commemorative scarab – are examined in detail. Finally, the export of Egyptian scarabs and their imitation by the nations around Egypt is examined as a tangible mark of the extent of Egypt’s influence in the ancient world and of the importance of the scarab itself.
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