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ID number:  ECM 1124
Named collection:  The Eton Myers Collection
Title / Object name:  Scarab
Object type:  Amulet
Culture:  Egyptian
Date made:  Twenty-Sixth Dynasty (ca. 664-525 BCE) or later
Collector:  Myers, William Joseph
Materials:  Obsidian
Measurements:  overall: 1.64 cm x 1.35 cm x 0.91 cm (H x W x D)
Provenance:  Unknown

Scarab amulet of made of obsidian with an unpolished surface. The body is finely carved and the underside displays the legs naturalistically rendered rather than with a base design. The scarab is pierced horizontally rather longitudinally.

Bibliography:  Aston, B., Harrell, J., Shaw, I. ‘Stone’ in Nicholson and Shaw (2000): Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology. Cambridge. p.5-77).

Notes:  Unlike most other scarabs, this 'naturalistic' scarab's base was carved to look like the underside of a dung beetle rather than being left flat or incised with a motif. This style of scarab amulet was found from the Twenty-Sixth Dynasty and later.

Obsidian is often known as 'volcanic glass' as it shares many attributes with manmade glass; this material was often used for sharp tools including the heads of arrows and spears, and for knives, as well as for amulets and jewellery. It was known to have been used for scarabs and amulets from the Middle Kingdom onwards (Aston et al, 2000: 47).

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Myers, William Joseph
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