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 Didier asks if this could be genuinely ancient.


July 2011


L: 6.6 cm; W: 3.5 cm; H: 1.8 cm


Sold as a Roman- Egyptian scorpion. But doesn't have enough legs to be a scorpion.

The Egyptian representations  of scorpions are  invariably with the tail coiled over the back rather than to the side.

I agree with Didier in that it was probably a crocodile.


That said, the pattern on the back is  not very reptilian.

Didier wonders it is weight as it is seemingly filled underneath with lead.

There are known small scorpion  weights from Syria, but much smaller than this.

 This from David Hendin's book.




I don't recall seeing such as this as a Roman  weight.

I'd generally expect to see a suspension loop on a Roman (steelyard) weight if it were this sort of size.

Didier says that the rather odd looking patina is not properly firmly adherent. Indeed it doesn't look at all convincingly like an ancient patina on bronze.

Anyone recognize the thing?




Eli asks:

August 2011.


I got this Canaanite scarab. It depicts a kneeling woman in front of what seems to be an altar with a crown on her head.

There are what seems to be 2 letters in Proto-Hebrew script above the altar.

It seems to be the letters are Gimel and Lamed. I was told by the seller that its dated to about 1000 BCE.



Here are my questions:

1) Is this really Canaanite and is the date 1000 BCE correct?
2) What stone is this made from? It's green looking.
3) Is it really Gimel Lamed above the altar or it's just lines just like the crown?
4) If it is Gimel Lamed then what can it possibly stand for?
3) Any info about the scarab's origin, who made it, who it belonged to, any others like this one found and where, etc...


  • This  is a Phoenician faience scarab, not Canaanite,  such as have been found at Carthage.
  • It dates to about the 7th century BC
  • It shows the seated figure of the deity Hapi sitting in front of a Hes vase .The Hes vase was a ritual container for various liquids used as libations in Egyptian temples. Sometimes had a lid.
  • Hapi is quite often shown with a Hes vase on Phoenician scarabs. The symbol is used in hieroglyphs to mean "praise"
  • Here is a faience scarab showing Hapi . Numer 1 below. This is from Egyptian and Egyptianizing Scarabs: a Typology of Steatite, Faience and Paste Scarabs from Punic and Other Mediterranean Sites, by Andree Feghali Gorton,  Oxford, 1996