Scarab Inscribed with Hieroglyphs in a Scroll Border

Middle Kingdom

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 109

The majority of design scarabs of the late Middle Kingdom (late Dynasty 12–Dynasty 13, ca. 1850 –1640 B.C.) are decorated with symmetric compositions of protective hieroglyphs and/or scrolls. These signs are not meant to form words but are chosen for their positive, protective meaning.
This scarab shows the sign for good and beautiful (nefer), the sign of life (ankh) and the basket (nb), surrounded by a decorative border of scrolls. Middle Kingdom scroll borders enclose one or more hieroglyphs, usually including the nefer-sign.

Scarab Inscribed with Hieroglyphs in a Scroll Border, Obsidian

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.