Heart scarab



18th-19th dynasties (16th-12th c. BC)

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The beetle is one of the most emblematic animals of Egyptian culture. The ancient Egyptians called it khepror and believed that it had the ability to reproduce on its own. That is why they associated it with the solar cult, one of the most important in the Egyptian religious system: the beetle was for them a symbol of transformation, renewal and resurrection. Scarab-shaped amulets are called scarabs and had different functions, usually magical and protective. This one is of a type that was used in the mummification process: it was engraved with one of the passages from the Book of the Dead referring to the heart and then it was placed inside the body of the deceased, replacing the real organ that had been removed along with the other viscera. In this case, fragments of chapter XXX-B have been identified, with one of its canonical introductions that contained the name of the deceased (unfortunately lost), in which a dialogue with his heart is established, urging it not to contradict the deceased’s declaration before the judges or bear false testimony at the time of being weighed in the scales. This scarab, then, was destined to be the heart of the deceased in the afterlife, but above all to help him or her in the way towards it by transmitting the truth of thoughts and feelings, just as the real heart was believed to contain them in life.

Marc Sureda Jubany

Llegir més


Room2 ,Floor-1

1 History of the Museum

2 Archaelogy

3 Lapidary

Detalls de l’obra




18th-19th dynasties (16th-12th c. BC)


Sculpted, polished and carved black granite


6,3 x 4,3 x 2,2 cm


Provenance from Egypt


MEV 3022