Scarab Inscribed Maatkare (Hatshepsut), She Lives

New Kingdom

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 116

During the 1926-1927 excavation season, the Museum's Egyptian Expedition uncovered three foundation deposits along the eastern enclosure wall of Hatshepsut's funerary temple at Deir el-Bahri in Western Thebes. Among the contents were 299 scarabs and stamp-seals. Sixty-five of these are now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo, and the rest were acquired by the Museum in the division of finds.

Among the inscriptions on the bases of these scarabs and seals are examples of every title Hatshepsut held, from the time she was "king's daughter" during the reign of her father, Thutmose I; through the time she was queen of her half-brother, Thutmose II; and during her regency and co-reign with her nephew/step-son, Thutmose III.

The inscription on the base of this scarab records Hatshepsut's throne name, Maatkare, which may be roughly translated as Maat (the goddess of truth) is the life force of Re (the sun god). The two hieroglyphs in front of the crouching goddess (ankh.s) have the meaning "she lives."

There are four scarabs in the Museum that have similar inscriptions. Two of them (27.3.233 and 27.3.235) have very similar inscriptions, and the back and side design are also almost identical. This scarab (27.3.236) has a similar back design, but the hieroglyphs are carved with less care. The back design of the fourth scarab (27.3.234) is different, and the hieroglyphs have a slightly different distribution.

Scarab Inscribed Maatkare (Hatshepsut), She Lives, Steatite (glazed)

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