Cypriot Steatite Scarab: Lion Attacking a Bull
An ancient Cypriot green steatite scarab. The base is inscribed with a scene of a lion attacking a bull with a star above in the field, all within a hatched border.
The ancient Egyptians believed the Scarabeus Beetle was able to spontaneously regenerate itself from cow dung, which these beetles can be observed rolling into small balls and burying. Consequently the scarab came to symbolize a spontaneous continuation of the life cycle. Often the bases were inscribed with symbols or "words of power," intended to magically invigorate the wearer. Scarabs have been found throughout the Mediterranean world, attesting to the spread of Egyptian art and religion beyond the borders of Egypt.
Formerly in an American private collection.