Scarabs are amulets formed to look like the dung beetle, an animal associated, by the ancient Egyptians, with life, rebirth, and the sun god Re. The dung beetle gets its name from laying eggs in dung rolled into a ball.
The undersides of scarabs were inscribed with hieroglyphs, names, symbols, mottoes, and more. The accompanying picture shows an inscribed soapstone (steatite) scarab. Scarabs were made of of a variety minerals.
Khephri was the divine dung beetle who rolled the sun through the sky.
Go to Other Ancient / Classical History Glossary pages beginning with the lettera
Also Known As: dung beetle, Khepri, Kheper, Khepera
Archaeologists use scarabs to help with dating because scarabs are often inscribed with the name of the reigning pharaoh.