Small mould-made scarab in glazed composition; back completely rubbed off with almost no visible detail left; underside stamped (rather than incised) with falcon holding a flail to right and half a cartouche to left, containing three debased hieroglyphic signs; inscription separated from falcon by vertical line; longitudinally pierced; no remains of glaze or never applied? (said to be unbaked and unglazed on the EEF distribution list); in light yellow paste; surface badly worn.
- Production date
- 600 BC-570 BC (mainly)
Length: 1 centimetres
Width: 0.90 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Falcon, sometimes wearing a crown or with a flail like here, is a recurring motif for various compositions found on scarabs and scaraboids produced at the “Scarab Factory” (on its various productions, see Webb forthcoming). This miniature scarab belongs to a type which was widely distributed in the Mediterranean area and Southern Russia (Gorton 1996, 93-107, type XXVIII B, subtype B1-12, especially B3 for this piece).
Petrie illustrated variants of this association of an animal - often a falcon or a mythical creature - with a debased hieroglyphic inscription (Petrie 1886, pl. XXXVII, no. 71-78). The hieroglyphs, as seen in many similar examples, are often interpreted as a debased version of pharaohs' names (Gorton 1996, 93).
For a similar motif on scarabs and scaraboids from Naukratis see: Boston, Museum of Fine Arts 86.695; Bristol, City Art Gallery & Museum H5115.14; Paris, Louvre Museum E8056 bis.9; Sydney, The Nicholson Museum, University of Sydney NM00.128.6; BM 1886,0401.1647 (in Egyptian blue).
Gorton, A.F. 1996, Egyptian and Egyptianizing scarabs: a typology of steatite, faience, and paste scarabs from Punic and other Mediterranean sites, Oxford.
Petrie, W.M.F. 1886, Naukratis. Part I, 1884–5 Third Memoir of the Egypt Exploration Fund), London.
Webb, V. forthcoming, Faience finds from Naukratis and their implications for the chronology of the site, in R. Thomas (ed.) forthcoming. Naukratis in Context I: The Nile Delta as a Landscape of Connectivity. Proceedings of the First Naukratis Project Workshop held at The British Museum, 16th –17th December 2011.
- Not on display
- Rather poor, very eroded
- Acquisition date
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: 86.695 (Accession Number)
Miscellaneous number: P.4902 (Pottery & Porcelain Ledger No.)