Scarab ring of Sithathoryunet, Gold, carnelian, lapis lazuli, and turquoise, bedding material

Scarab ring of Sithathoryunet

Middle Kingdom, Dynasty 12
Dynasty 12
reign of Senwosret II–Amenemhat III
ca. 1887–1813 B.C.
From Egypt, Fayum Entrance Area, Lahun, Tomb of Sithathoryunet (BSA Tomb 8), Chamber E, box 1, BSAE excavations 1914
Gold, carnelian, lapis lazuli, and turquoise, bedding material
l. 1.7 cm (11/16 in); w. 1 cm (3/8 in)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Rogers Fund and Henry Walters Gift, 1916
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 111
This superb example of an early ring was formed from gold and the beetle’s wing cases, thorax and head were inlaid with semi-precious stones. In the Middle Kingdom (ca. 2030-1650 B.C.), scarab beetles were the preferred design for a ring bezel as the scarab, a symbol of the sun gold Re, emerged as a popular amulet type. Thin gold wire was used to create a ring’s shank and was attached to the bezel in different ways, although most involved wrapping the ends of the wire neatly around the shank in a tight coil as can be seen here. The underside of this ring’s bezel is uninscribed.
Excavated by Petrie at Lahun under the sponsorship of the British School of Archeology in Egypt, 1914. Received by Petrie in the division of finds. Purchased by the Museum from Petrie, 1916.

Hayes, William C. 1953. Scepter of Egypt I: A Background for the Study of the Egyptian Antiquities in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: From the Earliest Times to the End of the Middle Kingdom. Cambridge, Mass.: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 235.