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ID number:  ECM 1606
Named collection:  The Eton Myers Collection
Title / Object name:  Heart Scarab
Object type:  Amulet
Culture:  Egyptian
Date made:  Twenty-First to Twenty-Second Dynasty (1069-715 BCE)
Collector:  Myers, William Joseph
Materials:  Faience
Measurements:  overall: 5.71 cm x 3.99 cm x 2.31 cm (H x W x D)
Provenance:  Possibly from Thebes, Upper Egypt

Well modelled pale blue faience heart scarab. The wing cases are marked and the legs are chip carved. The base is inscribed in black with seven horizontal lines of hieroglyphs. The scarab has a longitudinal piercing.

Reeves (2008: 170) reconstructs the name of the owner as 'Nesgeregtway'.

Inscriptions / Translations:  'My heart of my mother, my heart of my mother, my heart of my form(s)! Do not be hostile (before) the Keeper (of the Balance)! Do not raise up a witness (against) the Osiris, the mistress of the house, the Chantress of Amun-Re, King of the God(s), Nes[...], true of voice'

Bibliography:  Reeves, N. (ed.) 2008. Egyptian Art at Eton College and Durham University: Catalogue of a loan exhibition to Japan, 24 February-30 November 2008. With contributions from C. Barclay, T. Hardwick, S. Quirke, N. Reeves, J. Ruffle,
H. Schneider, and S. Spurr (Page 170, Entry No. 230).

Notes:  Chapter 30b from the Book of the Dead was painted on the base of this hearth scarab to allow the owner to safely travel in to the afterlife. This elaborately cut faience scarab likely dates to the Twenty-First to Twenty-Second Dynasty, the apex of faience production.

Heart scarabs were generally larger in size than other scarab amulets and were made out of a hard, dark stone, such as ECM 1131. Their bases would be inscribed with Chapter 30b from the Book of the Dead, as seen on ECM 1606. When placed in the mummy wrappings over the heart of a deceased person, the spell would cause the heart to be lighter when weighed against the feather of truth (maat) and thus allow the deceased safe passage into the afterlife.

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Myers, William Joseph
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