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Maker(s):Unknown
Culture:Egyptian
Title:Winged heart scarab amulet
Date Made:747-332 BCE (Dynasties 25-31)
Type:Adornment; Ceremonial
Materials:Egyptian faience
Place Made:Africa; Asia; Egypt
Measurements:Overall: 2 in x 1 3/8 in x 1/4 in; 5.1 cm x 3.5 cm x .6 cm
Accession Number:  MH 2000.1.INV
Credit Line:Source and date of acquisition unknown
Museum Collection:  Mount Holyoke College Art Museum
mh_2000_1_inv_v1_01.jpg

Description:
Uninscribed scarab with incised insect markings. Four attachment holes for sewing onto mummy wrappings located as follows: one on front, one on rear, two on each side. Called a heart scarab because large scarabs of this sort were placed over the heart of the deceased.

Label Text:
According to ancient Egyptian belief, the body was required for use in the afterlife and every effort was taken to preserve it. After mummification, bodies were placed in rectangular or human-shaped coffins that sometimes had inlaid eyes. Coffins were often brightly painted, as is shown by the fragments with floral garlands and the sheltering wing of a deity. A winged scarab amulet sewn onto the mummy wrappings over the heart ensured the individual’s success at the time of judgment and, in later periods, bead netting covered the bandages. The dead frequently wore jewelry, including bracelets of cowrie shells, ivory, or other materials.

Tags:
ancient; archaeology; deaths; tombs; afterlife; religion; rituals; ceremonies; jewelry

Link to share this object record:
https://museums.fivecolleges.edu/detail.php?t=objects&type=ext&id_number=MH+2000.1.INV

Research on objects in the collections, including provenance, is ongoing and may be incomplete. If you have additional information or would like to learn more about a particular object, please email fc-museums-web@fivecolleges.edu.

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