- Museum number
Large scaraboid in shape of double sided oval, in glazed composition. Upper face slightly domed, with inlaid figure of goose or pin-tailed duck, body and wings marked with inlaid faience in brown, one wing above back, the other in front, surrounded by border of alternating brown and yellow squares. Underside bears incised decoration cut out of surface with a sharp instrument; from right to left, an upright Neb sign, a squatting deity wearing a Maat feather on his head and a divine beard, supporting a miniature and garbled cartouche containing debased hieroglyphs intended to write the name of Psamtek, while to left and occupying almost half of the oval, the hieroglyphs for Psamtek are spelt out again in large size. Modelled all round the side of the oval is a cord represented as if in a groove and disappearing into the perforation, which is large and passes through horizontally. Glaze all gone; core fabric is soft very fine yellow, inlaid in brown.
- Production date
- 600 BC - 570 BC (possibly)
Length: 3 centimetres
Thickness: 1.15 centimetres
Width: 2.05 centimetres
- Inscription subject
- Curator's comments
- Oval convex plaques were mostly common during the Third Intermediate Period (Jaeger 1982, 206, § 1369), but the name Psamtek, repeated in debased hieroglyphs in the small cartouche, refers to the 26th dynasty Psamtek I or II.
Petrie rather interpreted the inscription as the name of Psamtek I (Petrie 1889, pl. 60, no. 1925). The large size associated with the inlaid technique makes this scaraboid quite unique in the corpus of the Scarab Factory products. Some comparisons can be made with finds from Italy (Hölbl 1979, 57-58, pl. 77/1, no. 263 and 70-71, pl. 83/4, no. 338) and it can be associated with Gorton's type XXXIV B (Gorton 1996, 124, Type XXXIV B18). This type, however, usually displays an orientalising theme, which is not the case with that scaraboid incised with a debased hieroglyphic inscription.
Hölbl, G. 1979, Beziehungen der ägyptischen Kultur zu Altitalien (EPRO 62), Leiden.
Jaeger, B. 1982, Essai de classification et datation des scarabées Menkhéperrê. Fribourg.
Petrie, W.M.F. 1886, Naukratis. Part I, 1884–5 (Third Memoir of the Egypt Exploration Fund), London.
Petrie, W.M.F. 1889, Historical scarabs: a series of drawings from the principal collections arranged chronologically, London.
- Not on display
- Good, just slightly chipped
- Acquisition date
- Egypt and Sudan
- BM/Big number
- Registration number