Funerary scarab

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


Length x width: 4.7 x 3.1 cm (1 7/8 x 1 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World


Mummy trappings

This funerary faience scarab carries a blue to green-blue glaze. Its back is decorated with somewhat uneven incised lines to define parts of the body and head. The base is flat and without decoration. Small decorative notches have been made in the front curve of the base. Two large notches have been made at the sides and one at the back, possibly to schematically indicate sections of the beetle’s legs. The scarab is pierced twice on each side for attachement of additional components shaped as wings, for attachement of the object to mummy wrappings, or both. It is in good condition.

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