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   From Marco

 On the yahoo group December 2005

I just found a too-nice-to-be-good heart scarab which also seems to me a little too-expensive-to-be-a-bad-fake (as I think it is). Any knowledgeable opinion from the actual hieroglyph readers in this group? Hope the tinyurl works!

Anyway, it's eBay item # 7374784151.


RARE Large Ancient Egyptian Scarab w/ Hieroglyphics , I have had this item

in my collection for many years and now it is time for me to sell it, I know

it is an original 2000 to 3000 year old artifact and had it checked by

someone who deals in ancient items but I never had the time to figure out

the writings on the back of the scarab. It is a very interesting item and I

am sure someone out there knows how to figure out the writings but I just

dont have the time. It is a very large size measuring about 1 3/4" long x 1

1/4" wide x 3/4" in thickness and weighs over 39 grams, it is in nice

condition with some visible cracking on the bottom but is complete and very

well carved throughout. If anyone has some information on this beautiful

Scarab please contact me



  From Sami


There are many things about it that doesn't feel good. I enlarged the pictures and could see marks of fill. Also the finish of the inscription is too bad to be good especially for a scarab like this, also looking at the inscribed lines its white, that indicate that it was cut recently, at the same I could never be sure I would need to ask a friend to translate it and to examine it physically but in general I don't feel good about it. Still the final opinion only after examine it my hand.

One more thing ..Seller says "I have had this item in my collection for many years and now it is time for me to sell it, I know it is an original 2000 to 3000 year old artifact"

If its authentic ..and he had it long time in his collection ..why didn't he translate it ?? especially if its important an valuable?


I agree completely!

It's poorly incised with some characters which are  hieroglyphs and some which are not.

Especially with an important thing like this, such cannot be mistakes; this is evidence of it's inauthenticity.


 From dr g


I have seen similar .. creations in the 1960s.


From Alexander


The scarab is wrong in several ways, in my view.


  • The signs are too clear to be that old, note their sharpness and the lighter colour inside many of them. Seems to be recently cut.
  • Also, there are a few signs that are beautiful and quite exceptional (nevertheless they did exist in antiquity) but which do not make any sense on a scarab.
  • On the other hand there are also some signs that do not look like any known hieroglyph; if these are real signs and the artist was just clumsy, how did he manage to create those beautiful signs as well?
  • Also note the great number of signs that are just horizontal strokes with some extras (like the sign for an animal's belly, which I see no less than 7 times on this scarab).
  • And then there is the horrible positioning of the glyphs, quite different from Egyptian canon.



A very special type of scarab,often quite large,  was the heart scarab,which  was placed within the wrappings of  mummy  approximately over the heart. Though most of the body cavity was emptied during mummification, the heart was usually left in the chest, as it was thought to be the centre of thought  and emotion.


As the most important controlling organ in the body it needed  very special protection, and required extra defensive measures at the weighing of  the heart.


LEFT TO RIGHT: Art Institute of Detroit and Vatican Museum

Left to right: Vatican Museum, The Metropolitan and another fake on offer online.


One of the purposes of a heart scarab was to prevent the heart, which was thought to be also the seat of intelligence, from giving evidence against the deceased owner at his judgment before Osiris at "the weighing of the heart".


In the presence of Thoth and Anubis (and Ammit..see below) there was a judgement as to whether or not the disceased had led a righteous life and could be allowed proceed to the afterlife: it was the heart which was weighed against the feather of maat (= truth, harmony).



And if not found "True of voice" this pleasant fellow, Ammut  would devour the heart.


Heart scarab of Kenro. Freud collection


This spell calls upon the heart to stay silent during the weighing of the heart and hence keeps the heart's counsel and binds it, just in case it were to blurt out any unwanted information during the weighing.

The spell itself says that the amulet is to be made of a green stone nemehef .

This text should also contain the name of the dead person.



Petrie Museum


It was mostly made in stone, particulalry a green stone, serpentine, as decreed by the Book of the Dead, which also said  that it should be placed in a gold setting.  It was generally inscribed with a spell from the Book of the Dead, usually  Chapter 30B  and it was from the words of this spell that  its magical power was thought to be derived.



McClung Museum, NK Dyn 19 Abydos Tomb D120 and Vatican museum


It was the symbol of the creative power of the sun-god and, through that power, it was supposed to restore life to the heart of the dead person. Furthermore, in the hieroglyphic script, the word meaning "transformation, metamorphosis" was written with the scarab sign, and the heart scarab was believed to provide the deceased with the means to transform himself into one of the various living creatures,  enumerated in the transformation spells of the Book of the Dead (Chapters 76-88).



From the Vatican Museum


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