- Museum number
Mould-made disc-shaped scaraboid in glazed composition; slightly domed and plain back with straight sides; underside bearing debased hieroglyphic signs arranged in register composition: central men-draughtboard sign topped in upper register by sun-disc and lower register occupied by a cross-shaped sign flanked by sun-discs or small circles; difficult to say if inscription was stamped or incised, since the scaraboid is so eroded; pierced through diameter; glaze lost; surface with a slight yellowish green tinge; yellow core; very worn surface and chipped.
- Production date
- 600 BC - 570 BC (mainly)
Diameter: 1.20 centimetres
Thickness: 0.50 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- The scaraboid belongs to a type which was widely distributed in the Mediterranean area and Southern Russia (Gorton 1996, 93-107, type XXVIII C, subtype C10-15, with C10 being similar to this piece) and produced in Naukratis (on the various productions of the 'Scarab Factory', see Webb forthcoming).
Gorton identified the motif as a debased inscription, possibly mentioning the name men-ib-Ra - which should be corrected in Menekhib, the Horus name of Psamtek II - or wah-ib-Ra (Gorton 1996, 106). This debased inscription could also be a play between the name of the god Amun-Ra written in a cryptic way (on the cryptic writing of the name of Amun: Drioton 1957) and the name of the pharaoh Wahibre, likely to be Apries since the activity of the 'Scarab Factory' is mainly dated to 600-570 BC.
Petrie illustrated a number of different versions for this type of inscription (Petrie 1886, pl. XXXVII, 65-70). For similar examples from Naukratis: BM 1886,0401.1644; BM 1886,0401.1646; Paris, Louvre Museum E8056 bis.8; Boston, Museum of Fine Arts 86.696; Oxford, Ashmolean Museum AN1888.207; Dundee, McManus Galleries 1975-61(2).
Drioton, E. 1957, 'Trigrammes d'Amon', Festschrift Hermann Junker zum 80. Geburtstag (Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlandes 54), Wien, 11-33.
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
- Acquisition date
- Egypt and Sudan
- BM/Big number
- Registration number