Small mould-made scarab in Egyptian blue; back broken off; at side, legs simply modelled, with undercut triangle; underside incised with winged seated griffin to right with symbol in field in front (Maat feather?) and half a cartouche to left, containing three debased hieroglyphic signs (cross-shaped symbol between two discs); inscription separated from griffin by vertical line; longitudinally pierced; in bright blue paste, of fine texture; very eroded.
- Production date
- 600 BC - 570 BC (mainly)
Height: 0.50 centimetres
Length: 1.10 centimetres
Width: 0.80 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- This small scarab belongs to a standard group produced at the “Scarab Factory” (on its various productions, see Webb forthcoming). It belongs to a type widely distributed in the Mediterranean area, particularly in Italy and Punic sites, and in Southern Russia (Gorton 1996, 109-111, type XXX A, subtype A1-18, see especially A18 for this specimen). The hieroglyphs in the "half cartouche", as seen in many similar examples, are often interpreted as a debased version of pharaohs' names (Gorton 1996, 93), and, in that case, Gorton suggested the inscription could stand more precisely for Wa-ib-re, the Horus name of Pammetichus I or the name of Apries (Gorton 1996, 110).
For a similar motif but on a glazed composition scarab, see BM 1886,0401.1650. For another close parallel from Naukratis, where the griffin is replaced by a falcon holding flail, see BM 1886,0401.1647. See also Petrie 1917, pl. LIV, no. 25 G.2.
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.
Petrie, W.M.F. 1917, Scarabs and cylinders with names, British School of Archaeology in Egypt 29, 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
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: AN1896-1908-EA.925 (Accession Number)