Description This steatite scarab is carved with a design and inscription on the bottom that signifies divine support and can be interpreted to read three ways: "Praised is the Maat of Re," "Favorite of Amun(-Re)," or "Praised is the Maat of Amun." The top of the piece is high and is carved with a combination of icons and script signs. This design is not standardized and the style is inconsistent. The execution of the back and bottom differ slightly, the bottom design is more elaborate. It is possible that a different specialist carved the much smaller figures and script signs of the bottom. This piece functioned as an amulet with royal connotations, and was originally mounted or threaded. The motif on the back praises the Maat of Amun/Re and the bottom inscription notes the special relation of the Nubian monarchy to Re and Amun. Furthermore, the presence of Taweret adn Ptah-Sokar-Osiris addresses magic protection and renewal. The representations of the two royal worshippers may refer to the legitimacy of the Kushite kings, and their responsibility for Egypt and Nubia granted by Amun. The scarab combines unique motifs and inscriptions, and the question of authenticity has to be raised. Nevertheless, there is a scarab of the 26th Dynasty, excavated in Acco, which shows a comparable layout, but with very different icons. Furthermore, the combination fo icons and text on the Walters' scarab is meaningful in the addressed Kushite time frame, and the style consistent.
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Translation] On back, translation option 1: Praised is the Maat of Re.; [Translation] On back, translation option 2: Favorite of Amun(-Re).; [Translation] On back, translation option 3: Praised is the Maat of Amun.; [Translation] On bottom: The rightful (?) son of Re: King, beloved of Amun-Re.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters
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