Funerary scarab

Late Period, Dynasty 25–30
760–332 B.C.


Length x width: 6.3 x 3.8 cm (2 1/2 x 1 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World


Mummy trappings

This faience funerary scarab has an indigo-blue glaze, the full luster of which has worn away leaving a somewhat rough surface that is flaking very slightly. Some areas are incrusted with brown to red material. Incised lines on the back indicate striations on the wings and details of the head. The base is flat and undecorated. Edges of the base are missing several chips. The scarab has been pierced for attachment of additional components shaped as wings, for attachment to mummy wrappings, or both.

In ancient Egyptian funerary religion, the winged scarab was an image closely associated with the sun-god and a popular symbol of protection and rebirth.


By 1836: Robert Hay Collection, Linplum, Scotland; 1863: to his son, Robert James Alexander Hay; 1868-1872: Way Collection, Boston (purchased by Samuel A. Way through London dealers Rollin and Feuardent, 27 Haymarket); 1872: given to the MFA by Samuel's son, C. Granville Way. (Accession Date: June 28, 1872)

Credit Line

Hay Collection—Gift of C. Granville Way