Scarab with Papyrus Motif

Middle Kingdom

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 109

Plants are a popular theme on the underside of ancient Egyptian seal-amulets because they refer to life, renewal, and regeneration. They mainly consist of representations of papyrus plants, and lotus flowers and their buds.
This late Middle Kingdom scarab (late Dynasty 12–Dynasty 13, ca. 1850–1640 B.C.) shows two papyrus stems emerging from baskets (neb), each placed at opposite sides of the composition. Parallel lines connect the fanning, flowering end with the stem of the plant.

Scarab with Papyrus Motif, Blue faience

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