Egyptian Green Steatite Heart Scarab


Egyptian Green Steatite Heart Scarab

An ancient Egyptian green steatite Heart Scarab, the upper side carved anatomically as a beetle, the base is inscribed with eight lines of text from chapter 30B and portions of chapter 125 of the Book of the Dead, reading, "The Osiris, god's father of Amun-Re, king of the gods, 'Pa-Djed,' the justified. He says 'Heart of my mother, heart of Khepri, do not stand up against me as a witness [in the presence of] the keeper of the balance. [Do not revolt] against me in [the presence of] the council of gods (or) in the presence of the keeper of the balance. I have not damaged the workhouse(?) or the offering loaves of the gods, and have not embezzled the offering loaves(?) of the gods. You are the Ka which is in my body."

Third Intermediate Period,
Ca. 1069 - 664 BC.
Length: 1 3/4 in. (4.7 cm).

The Heart Scarab was a large scarab of green stone that was placed on the heart of the deceased within the mummy wrappings. The base of the scarab was often inscribed with a text similar to the one found in chapter 30 of the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead. The text deals with the weighing of the heart ceremony before gaining entrance to the Afterlife. The individual's heart was judged (weighed) by Maat, goddess of justice, truth, and order, to determine if the individual was worthy of entering the Afterlife.

cf.: G. Scott, Ancient Egyptian Art at Yale, (Yale, 1986) p. 112, no. 62.

Formerly in an English private collection, inherited from the previous owner's grandfather who served with the British army in Egypt during the late 19th and early 20th century.

Inv#: 4995


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