Giant sculpture of a scarab beetle


British Museum

British Museum

The scarab beetle (Scarabeus sacer) is one of the enduring symbols of ancient Egypt, representing rebirth and associated with the rising sun. This green diorite sculpture, at around one and a half metres long, is one of the largest representations known. It would presumably have originally stood in a temple. It is said to be Ptolemaic (305-30 BC), and may have been taken to Constantinople (modern Istanbul), when Constantinople was the capital of the later Roman Empire (from AD 330). There is another large scarab near the Sacred Lake in the Temple of Karnak; it originally came from the mortuary temple of Amenhotep III (1390-1352 BC).

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  • Title: Giant sculpture of a scarab beetle
  • Date Created: -399/-300
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 90.00cm (max); Length: 153.00cm (max); Width: 119.00cm (max)
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Subject: ancient egyptian deity
  • Registration number: .74
  • Place: Found/Acquired Istanbul
  • Material: diorite
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Purchased from Elgin