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   From Franco Magnarini

3rd April 2007


From the author of


Catalogo ragionato di una collezione di Scarabei-Sigillo Egizi
ISBN: 1841713635


This book, which has very rightly become  one of the core books for collectors of scarabs, is based on Franco's own collection of 430 scarabs. These, illustrated with both photgraphs and line drawings, and useful and interesting notes and references in Italian and in English,  are representative of all types made  throughout period.  The introduction, which is also in English translation, describes the use, manufacture and function of Egyptian scarabs.


There are a number of extremely interesting contributions by Franco  on archaeogate.

Archaeogate was a very  interesting a portal for Italian archaeologists which also published preliminary reports of Italian excavations.

Most of the contents were in Italian but many were in English and very useful to an international audience. Sadly this website closed down several years ago.




 Another interesting cryptographic writing of Imun


At the top is the winged sun with uraeii and at the sides a pair of anx and nfr signs.

At the  botton the basket neb sign.

Despite the cartouche, not the name of a king (there is a king Raneferef of 5th  Dyn.)

 In this case,  the sign for town (niwt)  fills in for the sun sign (it happens frequently) and gives a cryptographic writing of the name of Amen.

The  acrophony,  I   from  itn  (the sun disc),  m  from  mt   (artery, the nfr sign) and  n  from  nb gives:  Imn .

Another reading could be: "Re is perfect", but this is not certain.









From Phil S

19th Sept '10

Although the reasoning behind it is not clear to me (maybe some one can fill me in?), a common cryptographic representation of "Amun" is a pond hieroglyph, usually with a water sign inside it, either as straight or wavy line.


 This seems to be primarily a Late Period usage, often seen as part of the fairly common "Happy New Year" inscriptions seen on objects such as the scaraboid and ring shown here.


Both read




Another cryptographic formula besides those shown above is seen on one side of this New Kingdom scaraboid.


One side shows a falcon-headed god, holding an ankh and seated on a neb-basket.






This could be read as follows:

ankh = disc of a mirror = 'itn = I
seated figure = Falcon headed diety Montu = mntw = MN or M
basket = basket/lord/all = nb = N


Montu appears in the book excerpt above in falcon form, but he may also appear in humanoid form, as he does in this case.


 Conceivably, this could also be read "Life to Lord Montu" or something to that effect, in addition to the cryptographic reading.


Both Amun and Montu are particularly associated with the area of Thebes, so might suggest an origin in that region.


The other side of the scaraboid echos the cryptographic reading with the more plainly written nb jmn-r' nb, "Amun-Re, Lord of All". 



Another example.



See also :

An article by Franco from archaeogate published here in English.


An article on a number of scarabs  by Pierre Tallet and myself.


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