Mould-made disc-shaped scaraboid in glazed composition; slightly domed and plain back with straight sides; underside bearing a hieroglyphic inscription with to right owl, to left sun-disc men-draughtboard sign, n-sign and three vertical notches (usually indicating plural); inscription probably stamped rather than incised, encircled by groove near edge; pierced through diameter; light turquoise glaze relatively well preserved; in whitish paste.
- Production date
- 600 BC - 570 BC (mainly)
Diameter: 1.25 centimetres
Thickness: 0.60 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- The owl sign is often associated on Naukratite scarabs and scaraboids with solar symbols (see example of an owl between an obelisk and sun-disc in Gorton 1996, 103, no. 84) or other sacred signs (Maat feather, ankh sign: Gardner 1888, pl. XVIII, 42; Gorton 1996, 104).
The combination of hieroglyphs is difficult to interpret as often on Naukratite scarabs and scaraboids (Gorton 1996, 93). Though the hieroglyphic signs have often just some magical value, it seems plausible that this is a cryptographic reading for the name of Amun-Ra (on the cryptic writing of the name of Amun: Drioton 1957).
This scaraboid belongs to a type which was widely distributed in the Mediterranean area and Southern Russia (Gorton 1996, 103-107, type XXVIII B, subtype B58-61, see especially B60 for this piece).
Drioton, E. 1957, 'Trigrammes d'Amon', Festschrift Hermann Junker zum 80. Geburtstag (Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlandes 54), Wien, 11-33.
Gardner, E. A. 1888, Naukratis. Part II (Sixth Memoir of the Egypt Exploration Fund), London, Pl. XVIII, 22.
Gorton, A.F. 1996, Egyptian and Egyptianizing scarabs: a typology of steatite, faience, and paste scarabs from Punic and other Mediterranean sites, Oxford, 93, 103-107, type XXVIII B (esp. 60).
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
- Quite good
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: E.SC.240 (Accession Number)