Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Scarab of the Steward of Cusae, Senebtifi

Period:
Middle Kingdom
Dynasty:
Dynasty 12
Date:
ca. 1981–1802 B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt, Middle Egypt, Meir, Khashaba excavations, 1910–14
Medium:
Glazed steatite
Dimensions:
L. 2.1 cm (13/16 in.); W. 1.5 cm (9/16 in.); H. 1 cm (3/8 in.)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1928
Accession Number:
28.2.3
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 109
Scarabs bearing the names of nonroyal individuals first appeared in the later Twelfth Dynasty, concurrent with other significant cultural and political developments. Thereafter scarabs were mass produced, primarily as amulets, though they often also functioned as administrative seals. Scarab beetles lay their eggs in round balls of dung from which their young emerge, actions that the ancient Egyptians equated with the sun god and rebirth, appropriate symbolism for amulets that were often placed in tombs.
Excavated by Sayyid Pasha Khashaba at Meir. Purchased by the Museum from Nicolas Tano, 1927.

Ben-Tor, Daphna 2015. "Late Middle Kingdom Private-Name Scarabs." In Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom, edited by Adela Oppenheim, Dorothea Arnold, Dieter Arnold, and Kei Yamamoto. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 139–40, no. 71C.

Grajetzki, Wolfram 2015. "Middle Kingdom History: An Overview." In Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom, edited by Adela Oppenheim, Dorothea Arnold, Dieter Arnold, and Kei Yamamoto. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 307, 309.

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