Scarab ring of Sithathoryunet

Middle Kingdom

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.

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

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