Scarab Inscribed with Hieroglyphs

Middle Kingdom

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 109

The scarab is inscribed with a symmetric arrangement of hieroglyphs, not meant to form words but chosen instead for their positive meaning.
Such compositions are particularly prevalent on design scarabs of the late Middle Kingdom (late Dynasty 12–Dynasty 13, ca. 1850 –1640 B.C.). They serve as models for the wide array of variations seen on Egyptian scarabs of the Second Intermediate Period (Dynasty 14–17, ca. 1640–1550 B.C.) and on Canaanite scarabs (Middle Bronze Age IIB-IIC, ca. 1700–1500 B.C.).

Scarab Inscribed with Hieroglyphs, Green glazed steatite

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.