Scarab Inscribed with Hieroglyphs in a Scroll Border
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.
This artwork is meant to be viewed from right to left. Scroll left to view more.