Date Made/Found: 2055-1650 BC
Material and Medium: Lapis lazuli
Dimensions: Length 20mm, width 16mm, depth 9mm
Place Object Found:
Accession Number: X1977.1170
This is an ancient Egyptian scarab amulet made of lapis lazuli. Ancient Egyptians thought the sun was rolled across the sky by the scarab beetle god Khepri in the same way actual beetles rolled dung balls along. Scarab beetles lay their eggs inside a dung ball so it seemed like the young beetles were miraculously born from the dung. Amulets in the form of these beetles symbolised rebirth.
People wore amulets as jewellery over their clothing and attached them to mummy wrappings after death for protection. Amulets came in many shapes, sizes and materials.
This amulet was collected by Sir Robert Mond (1867-1938), who was a British chemist, archaeologist and president of the Egypt Exploration Society. He bequeathed his collection to the British Museum which then distributed some of it to other museums, including Sheffield City Museum.
Weston Park Museum