Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Scarab Inscribed for the [God's] Wife Hatshepsut, Living

New Kingdom
Dynasty 18, early
Joint reign of Hatshepsut and Thutmose III
ca. 1479–1458 B.C.
From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Deir el-Bahri, Temple of Hatshepsut, Foundation Deposit 7 (G), MMA excavations, 1926–27
Steatite (glazed)
L. 1.6 cm (5/8 in.); W. 1.2 cm (1/2 in.)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1927
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 116
This scarab was found in one of the foundation deposits located along the front of the lower court of Hatshepsut's funerary temple at Deir el-Bahri. The inscription on the base is missing a hieroglyph. It reads: the living wife, Hatshepsut. It probably should have read: The Living God's Wife, Hatshepsut. In the late Seventeenth early Eighteenth Dynasties, the title God's Wife was held by the principal queen or the queen mother. Hatshepsut inherited the title while she served as principal queen of her half-brother, Thutmose II. Later, shortly after she took on the titles of king, Hatshepsut passed the title on to her daughter, Neferure (see scarab 27.3.325).
This scarab and another from the foundation deposits (27.3.193) have an unusual version of one of the hieroglyphs. The woman seated on the chair is represented perching on the seat with her knees drawn up in front of her instead of seated with her legs down (In most examples of this hieroglypyh, the woman's legs merge with the front leg of the chair - see 27.3.192).
Excavated by the Egyptian Expedition of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1926–1927. Acquired by the Museum in the division of finds, 1927.

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