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VARIANTS OF AN EPITHET
The triumphalist and evocative royal epithet: "trampling down all foreign lands" ptpt xAst nb(t) starts at the time of Thuthmoses III, grows longer in the Ramesside period until Merenptah, then it disappears.
The most numerous examples with this epithet, owing to many variants of its writing, are those inscribed with the names of Thuthmoses III and Ramses II, but also some of Amenhotep II, Thuthmoses IV, Amenhotep III and Merenptah. It is almost impossible ascertain if those of Thuthmoses III are contemporary with his reign, while the analysis of the variants allows one to ascribe a certain number to the Ramesside period 1.
In this scarab of Thuthmoses III the writing is: ptpt xAst nb
In this other, belonging to the same king the writing is : ptpt xAst nb tAwy
In this third, of Ramses II 2 it seems to be: ptpt xAst nb tA.
AMEN, THE LORD OF GODS
The scarab which we present here is in steatite with the glaze faded to white and without any remaining traces of the origininal colour. t measures 16x12x7 mm. It has a Tufnell classification1 A4/II/d6.
The pronotum is delimited by a double line slightly convex toward the rear. The elytra are divided by two lines. Legs middle high, modestly deeply carved, hatched and jutting out of the body. A reinforcing ring at the rear mouth of the suspension hole. In situ are the residues of metal mounting.
In the vertically arranged motif, a ram-headed sphinx wearing the double-feather crown swty with uraei. It holds the wAs scepter with it's front legs, symbolising royalty and command. On the top left the probable writing: Nb n nt_ rw (small nb, visible under the flag) with the meaning: Amen, the Lord of Gods (it must be remembered that the ram was one of the zoomorphic shapes of this god). The basket nb in exergue.
As to the dating, we are inclined to the late Ramesside period.
1 Tufnell O., "STUDIES ON SCARAB SEALS" vol. 2, part 1 Warminster, UK - 1984, 32-37 (we adopt this classification method because it seems to us the most appropriate to typological description, even if it has been conceived for Second Intermediate Period scarabs).
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